Apr 8 2012
The Defense budget cuts have been coming since Obama took office. But the full impact of these cuts so far is nothing compared to the nearly $1 trillion in cuts that will effectively gut the military. These cuts won’t go back to the taxpayers or paying off the debt, but instead will be added to the coffers of the already overbloated entitlement (free handouts) society he is creating in order to destroy America as we know it.
ZbigniewMazurak Contrary to what Democrats would have you believe, there isn’t a lot of waste in defense, and certainly not $100 billion per year. Not even close.
The sequester, if allowed to proceed, would cut defense spending WAY too deeply (on top of all the defense cuts already implemented and scheduled, including the $487 billion in defense cuts unveiled by Panetta in January): by $600 billion. In total, the cuts would amount to $1.087 trillion over a decade, not counting the savings resulting from withdrawal from Afghanistan. Such deep cuts would gut the military. As a consequence of them, the DOD would have to, inter alia:
- Cancel the F-35 program completely without replacement, and thus betray foreign program partners
- Eliminate the ICBM leg of the nuclear triad completely while cutting the bomber fleet by 2/3 and cancelling the bomber replacement program
- Delay the SSBN replacement program
- Cancel all except the most basic upgrades for F-15s and F-16s while cutting the fighter fleet by 35%
- Cut the USN’s ship fleet to 230 vessels, the smallest size since 1915, and vastly inadequate (independent studies say the Navy needs 346 ships)
- Forego the deployment of any missile defense system abroad
- Cut the Army to its smallest size since 1940
- Cancel virtually all Army modernization programs
- Cut the Marines down to just 145,000 personnel
- Cut personnel benefits programs to such depth that it would break faith with them (e.g. massive cuts in DOD health programs and retirement benefits), thus discouraging people from joining the military or reenlisting
As testified by Obama’s own SECDEF, as well as all Joint Chiefs, lower-ranking generals, and other DOD officials, and as confirmed by many independent analysts and retired officers, sequestration would completely gut the military. For JCS Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, sequestration would produce “the definition of a hollow force”. For LTG Mills of the Marine Corps, “sequestration would break faith with those defending America.”
The HASC has come to similar conclusions and also warns that most of the damage that would be done to defense would be irreversible. For example, if you cancel a shipbuilding program that a shipyard relies on, the shipyard will have to close and be liquidated and will not be there to reopen when you’re finally ready to start buying ships again.
Moreover, first tier BCA-mandated budget cuts plus sequestration ($108.7 bn a year on average) plus zeroing out OCO spending (as a result of the inevitable US withdrawal from Afghanistan, $88.5 bn per year on average) means cutting the military budget by a total 32.11% – much deeper than the cuts made after the Vietnam War (26%) and almost as deep as the cuts that followed the Cold War (34%-35%). Now think about it, Dear Reader: we now know that the post-Vietnam and post-Cold-War defense cuts WRECKED the military. So how can we honest expect this round of defense cuts NOT to gut the military? We can’t. Simple math alone should tell you that, even if you don’t believe Obama’s own SECDEF, Deputy SECDEF, and Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as many lower-ranking generals, retired military officers, and independent analysts.
Speaking of the Joint Chiefs, there are only three possibilities:
1) That all of the Joint Chiefs are deliberately lying to scaremonger the Congress and the American people;
2) That all of the Joint Chiefs are ignorant guys who don’t know what they’re talking about; or
3) That Panetta, Carter, and the Joint Chiefs are right about sequestration.
Furthermore, not only would sequestration gut defense, it would be extremely unjust. The DOD would be punished for CONGRESS’ FAILURE to design a fiscally responsible federal budget; and even though its entire budget accounts for just 19% of federal spending, and the core defense budget (which would be the portion hit with the sequester’s cuts) accounts for less than 15%. Yet, this 15% portion of the federal budget would bear a full 50% of sequestration’s cuts. This would be deeply unjust and disproportionate, in addition to gutting the military.
To sum up, defense spending sequestration would completely gut the military and thus imperil the country; would be deeply unjust (punishing the DOD for Congressional failure); would be disproportionate; is not necessary to reduce the deficit or balance the budget; and would save much less money than conservative plans that don’t cut defense spending (such as the RSC’s and the Heritage Foundation’s plans) would save.
And, as Ronald Reagan said, anyone who proposes to cut defense spending must be forced to say which defense programs the Nation can do without, why, and how it would protect itself without them.
Obama has a habit of pressuring senior generals to change their testimonies to suit their agenda. Just ask 4-star General William Shelton, the commander of USAF’s Space Command, who says Obama pressured him to do just that.
It is quite conceivable that the Joint Chiefs were also pressured to testify, wrongly, that the $487 bn in defense cuts ordered by Obama is survivable.
General Dempsey himself, before he was confirmed, testified that deep defense cuts would weaken defense, that “national security” spending did not cause the deficit problem and that cutting it will not solve it.
More recently, he said, quite correctly, that sequestration of defense spending (the second round of BCA-ordered cuts, totalling another $600 bn) would mean “we would no longer be a global power”. Today, under obvious pressure from the White House and other defense cuts supporters, he claims he was misunderstood and that he only meant that “we wouldn’t be the global power that we know ourselves to be today.”
No, General, that’s not what you originally said. That’s what the White House now tells you to say. I’m sure that if the White House told you “say that the sequester would be harmless”, you would be saying exactly that.
While I wouldn’t call the generals liars or fools, this is not the first time that someone has coached witnesses to deliver a favorable testimony.
No matter how hard the generals and civilian DOD bureaucrats may insist to the contrary, the FACT is that Obama’s defense budget cuts mandate drove the pseudo-strategy the DOD issued in January, not the other way around. Obama demanded deep defense cuts, and the DOD had to produce a “strategy” to fit these cuts. That’s what happened, despite the generals’ and civilian bureaucrats’ pretensions to the contrary.
Obama demanded $400 bn in defense cuts on April 13th, 2011, during a budget issues speech at the GWU – long before there even was any talk of a debt ceiling deal. At the time, even his own SECDEF, Robert Gates, was surprised of the defense cuts mandate, and the DOD had to start working out how to implement them. Then, on August 1st, Obama negotiated a debt ceiling deal that mandated $487 bn in cuts from “security spending”, which Obama slapped exclusively on the DOD.
Only later was there any talk of a “strategy” to fit these cuts.