Obama's Defense Cuts
The following is an opinion piece written by Chet Nagle, graduate of the US Naval Academy and author of Iran Covenant
The Obama administration intends to slash the defense budget in order to pay for its riotous spending on bailouts, stimulus bills, their signature healthcare program, and massive pork bribes for votes from congressmen who hopefully will not survive this November s balloting.
To continue the spending spree, the White House plans to eliminate over a trillion defense dollars in the next ten years. Details of those proposed cuts were laid out by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Sustainable Defense Task Force in a 56 page report titled: Debt, Deficits, and
Defense A Way F
orward. None of the service arms are spared.
The Navy will be reduced to eight aircraft carriers (from eleven planned) and seven air wings. Eight ballistic missile submarines will be cut from the planned force of fourteen, leaving just six. Building of nuclear attack submarines will be cut in half, leaving a force of forty by 2020. The four active guided missile submarines would be cut, too.
Destroyer building would be frozen and the new DDG-1000 destroyer program canceled. Among other huge cuts, the fleet is to be reduced to 230 combat ships, eliminating 57 vessels from a current force level of 287.
The Air Force must retire six fighter air wings equivalents, and at the same time build 301 fewer F-35 fighters.
The nuclear bomber force will be completely eliminated in the name of unilateral disarmament the B-1 and B-2 and B-52 and other bombers will still be able to drop bombs, but their nuclear weapon wiring and controls will simply be removed.
Procurement of the new refueling tanker and the C-17 cargo aircraft will be canceled. Directed energy beam research and other advanced missile and space warfare defense projects will also be eliminated or curtailed.
Active duty Army personnel will be slashed from 562,400 to 360,000. That includes elimination of about five active-component brigade combat teams (the report is not exact). The Army will also suffer a myriad of other cuts, including closure of overseas bases.
The Marine Corps would be cut by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000, and the other funding cuts planned for the Corps mean the
will not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile shore. Marine Corps programs to be killed include the V-22 Osprey tilt rotor aircraft and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. United States
The hot button item of reducing pay, pension, healthcare and other benefits for our soldiers, their wives, their families and their widows is stated as: Resetting the calculation of military compensation and reforming the provision of military health care. Whatever those mysterious words will ultimately come to mean, the task force report shows a planned reduction of pay and benefits for the troops and their families to the tune of $120 billion.
Many other proposed cuts are not addressed in coherent detail, including how the reduction of our deployed nuclear warheads to 500 would be accomplished (a much greater reduction than contemplated by the pending START treaty with
Today s deterrent force of 500 Minuteman III missiles, for example, would be reduced to just 160 missiles or less, which then leaves a balance of 340 warheads for ballistic submarines and tactical delivery systems everywhere in the world!
Other key parts of American strategic defenses are slashed as well, including modernization, research, and maintaining safety and reliability of existing weapons.
These sweeping reductions in our defenses are bad enough, but the most disturbing part of the report from Rep. Frank s task force of think-tank pundits is the lack of a rationale for such drastic cuts.
Instead of serious proposals for a national security strategy, the task force recommends something they call a policy of restraint.