Summary: How Military Budget Cuts Compromise Our National Defense
Last month, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced there will be a major reduction of U.S. military forces that will face even steeper downsizing in 2016. They include significant cuts in Navy shipbuilding, and Air Force aircraft purchases, and a 20% reduction in Army ground forces. Several new weapon systems will be slashed and older weapons retired.
According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his book Duty, since entering office, President Obama has worked to cut U.S. defenses in order to use the funds for domestic programs. Hagel suggests the defense reductions will pose new national security risks for the United States in the future! American dominance on the seas, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted.
The cuts are significant for 2014 and 2015: $37 billion last year and $75 billion for 2014 and 2015. After the recent budget agreement in Congress, additional sequestration cuts were put on hold until 2016, when new cuts amounting to $600 billion over 10 years will be imposed. Congress must approve the new cuts.
Hagel said it will result in a diminishing global readiness even as we sustain a heightened alert posture in regions like the Middle East and North Africa. The cuts will also increase the risk of uncertainty in a dynamic and increasingly dangerous security environment.
Other powers are creating advanced weapons making it difficult for the military to deal with these threats. China confirmed last month that it conducted the first flight test of an ultra- high-speed maneuvering vehicle that can be used to deliver nuclear warheads and to defeat U.S. strategic missile defenses. The cuts would reduce the ability of the military to conduct more than one conflict in the world at the same time which could possibly trigger an outbreak of global conflict. The specifics of the cuts may be found in the attached article from the Washington Free Beacon.
To deal with military readiness President Obama has proposed adding $26 billion to defense for 2015 as part of what is called “Opportunity Growth and Security initiative.” Hagel says even with those additional funds the U.S. military force will be too small to fully carry out the administration’s defense strategy.
There have been mixed reviews on what is happening. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the budget proposal represents both sound national security and fiscal responsibility, while American Enterprise Institute’s Mackenzie Eaglen said the latest defense cuts will continue to weaken the U.S. military and its technological edge. Obama’s own director of national intelligence recently told Congress that in over half a century, he has not experienced a time when the U.S. has been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas C. McInerney said this announcement of cuts will escalate the demise of our military unilaterally and we still have no strategy for defeating radical Islam.
Women Are More! We are not single-issue voters; we care deeply about our national security and how this administration’s foreign policy failures and military budget cuts are compromising that security. We must work hard to make sure the right leaders take Congress in the 2014 elections to make the right decisions to protect our great country and the future for our grandchildren.