We have been down this road before, Democratic cuts to Defense infrastructure and staffing always, always, results in panic when we ended up faced with challenges that demanded expansion of our military capabilities: Carter, Clinton and now President Obama. In the good old days it was called the ‘Peace Dividend’, even when there was no real peace in sight. I t always costs more in the long run to re-establish infrastructure than it does to maintain it in the first place; it’s why we change the oil in our cars.
This time however it’s insidious. This time the cuts, at least partially, are aimed at the men and women who serve. This aspect alone defies logic. If you need to be leaner and meaner the quality of the individuals must be counted upon to bridge some of that gap. It that case common sense demands increasing compensation and benefits to attract those folks who can bridge the gap. But I digress.
The overwhelming strategic imperative of recent Defense policy was the ability to engage in two conflicts simultaneously. One of the underpinnings of this imperative was that we could not become so mired in one conflict that we were left naked to all other potential threats. That idea is being thrown overboard as is national security and the ability to prevent conflict by way of the projection of power. The Russians and Chinese are no doubt thrilled, as is the entire Jihadi community. Allies, however, are wondering if they should cuddle up to those forces as they are incapable of protecting themselves. Should they decide to, in fact, cuddle up, in hopes that the alligator will eat them last U.S. military reach will be reduced geometrically. U.S. military power has made Europe safe for Social Democracy and there is no indication that Europe will up their military game.
Were we to have first heard the strategic plan that the budget cuts were intended to address, were reallocation of resources or alterations in spending priorities consistent with and complimentary to a strategic plan we could engage in a thoughtful critique inclusive of the benefit of the doubt. We heard none of that. This was not a Pentagon initiative. This was the President’s West Wing security advisors who want the money for domestic programs and simply do not accept the fact that budgets should follow strategic initiatives and serious threat assessment. This is a budget that represents the President’s fundamental distrust of the military infrastructure. This is a proposal that operates from the premise that domestic entitlements must overwhelm national security.
Are there cuts that can and should be made? Yes! But the cuts announced today are in the view of an isolated West Wing, low hanging fruit. We’ll have to check the details but I’ll take a bet from all comers that the ‘climate change’ money that DOD spends is still there. I’ll take on all comers that the ‘green initiative’ money is still there.
Kill off one of my favorite planes the A-10 Warthog, it’s hurtful but I understand that a tank killer is not a high priority in today’s world. But what are you doing with the money? Where is it going? Is there an asymmetric threat strategy that will be supported instead?
After over 10 years of war, thousands of dead, thousands more critically wounded, uncounted scars obvious and hidden and the message from this administration is that they are overpaid??? That they’re not worth the money??? That they should pay for the poor management of the process by the administration that they should pay for the sycophants in the West Wing???
By way of this effort the administration clearly defines itself as criminally negligent! It is difficult to come to any other opinion.