How Obama has weakened America’s defense
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 4, 2012
Some people still deny that President Obama has weakened, and continues to weaken, the US military with cuts. So to refute those people, and to inform everyone of Barack Obama’s disastrous record on that score, I’ve decided to write this post, to illustrate how Obama has damaged and continues to damage the military:
- He has cut defense spending and continues to cut it more deeply. The FY2012 defense budget was already smaller than its FY2011 predecessor, but that was nothing compared to what was to follow. Next, Obama ordered the DOD to cut $400 bn out of its budget and study how to do this. In August, he negotiated and signed a deal that forces the DOD to cut its budget by $487 bn over a decade, and includes a sequestration mechanism (which his own SECDEF calls a “doomsday mechanism”) that will cut another $600 bn out of its budget if not detriggered. Obama threatens to veto any attempt to stop or redirect this sequester.
- To meet the first tranche of debt-ceiling-deal-ordered cuts ($487 bn), which HE demanded during negotiations, Obama proposes to significantly weaken the US military by, inter alia, retiring prematurely 7 Tico class cruisers (including 1 BMD-capable), 2 amphibious ships, many other vessels; cutting out dozens of ships out of the shipbuilding plan, including 8 JHSVs; delaying the SSBN replacement program by and the cruise missile replacement by 2 years solely for budgetary reasons; retiring over 150 airlift aircraft (including 27 C-5 strategic airlifters and 65 C-130s) prematurely just months after the Air Force was told to cut its strategic airlifter fleet by 15 aircraft; retiring hundreds of tacair planes prematurely and cutting the number of fighter squadrons by 7, from 60 to 53; cutting R&D spending deeply and eliminating or cutting many vital programs, including direct-energy-weapon programs; and dramatically cutting the C-130J program.
- His nuclear weapon cuts are diminishing America’s military power and deterrence capabilities, emboldening adversaries to develop nuclear weapons while undermining America’s allies confidence in the US nuclear deterrent. (http://t.co/EdPKzDDM)
- He is underfunding the modernization of, and neglecting, the US nuclear arsenal and nuclear facilities, thus allowing them to atrophy through negligence, as admitted by his supporters as early as June 2009.
- He has signed the New START treaty, which has obligated the US to cut its nuclear arsenal by 1/3 and its fleet of deployed strategic delivery systems by 170 while allowing Russia to grow its arsenals of these weapons and imposing sweeping restrictions on US missile defense systems.
- He has closed over 50 crucial modernization programs, including the F-22, MKV, KEI, CGX, DDX Zumwalt class, C-17 strategic airlifter, CSARX helicopter program, AC-X replacement gunship, and Airborne Laser.
- He has cut the USAF’s fighter fleet by hundreds of aircraft since 2009, without replacement.
- As a result of his disastrous defense cuts, the US military is forced to use, for the most part, old, obsolete, worn out weapons which are no longer survivable against modern Chinese, Russian, Iranian, and North Korean weapons.
And yet, as if these defense cuts were not enough, he plans further ones:
- He plans to cut spending on the maintenance and upgrades of the USAF’s 3 existing bomber types (which will still be serving for decades to come) by a whopping 40%.
- He plans to cut the already-inadequate spending on nuclear arsenal modernization by a whopping 15%.
- He plans to kill such crucial development programs as laser weapons (incl. lasers intended to shoot down cruise missiles, such as ASCMs) and other directed energy weapons.
- He wants the Navy to give up many existing needed ships, including 7 Tico class cruisers and 2 amphibious ships. This will be a big loss for the Navy. Fewer amphibious ships mean less amphibious landing capacity and cutting from the already inadequate fleet will make the USN unable to deploy more than 1 Marine Brigade at once. As for Tico class cruisers, each of them is, by itself, a significant, flexible, multi-mission platform equipped with a modern AN/SPY 360 degree radar, an Mk41 Vertical Launch System with dozens of missiles (including SM-3 SAMs, Harpoon ASMs and Tomahawks), and guns. Losing one of them is a significant capability loss. Losing 7 of them would mean a fatal blow to the Navy.
- He wants to strike at least 16 ships out of the Navy’s shipbuilding plan for the next 5 years, thus ensuring that, due to a combination of ship retirements and delayed/cancelled ship construction orders, the Navy will likely not be able to maintain a 283-ship-fleet.
- He wants to completely renege on his commitment to modernize the US nuclear stockpile, the nuclear triad, and nuclear-warhead-related facilities, which were built during the days of the Manhattan Project.
- He plans to unilaterally reduce the US nuclear stockpile by 80%, down to just 300 nuclear warheads, making it significantly smaller than that of Russia and China.
- He plans to eliminate 6 AF fighter squadrons and 1 AF fighter training squadron and force the USAF to retire over 130 fighter aircraft (F-16s and A-10s) prematurely, mostly from cheaper-to-maintain, highly efficient ANG units. Some of these units will have to replace the aircraft with extremely expensive single-mission Reaper drones that are not even nearly as capable as F-16s and A-10s.
- He plans to close dozens of crucial R&D programs aimed at countering anti-access/access-denial weapons of America’s enemies. As AEI defense expert Mackenzie Eaglen narrates: “The budget slices the Power Projection Applied Research account by nearly 15%, affecting programs like precision strike and directed energy weapons. Similarly, Force Protection Applied Research dropped by 27%, cutting innovation in anti-submarine warfare and hull assurance. A 28% cut in Electromagnetic Systems Applied Research affects initiatives such as electronic attack, surface-based anti-cruise and ballistic missile defenses, and the Surface Warfare Improvement Program, or SEWIP, which uses electronic warfare to disarm incoming missiles.Other R&D cuts impact separate initiatives on anti-submarine warfare, undersea weapons, cyber security, electronic warfare, sensing, SATCOM vulnerabilities, missile defense countermeasures, S and X-band radar integration, and radar defenses against electronic attack. These programs form important parts of the Navy’s next-generation arsenal, especially when it comes to the Pentagon’s evolving AirSea Battle concept.They are exactly the type of programs the Pentagon should be protecting if it is serious about emphasizing the unique challenges of the Asia-Pacific. The fact that R&D money declined for these particular Navy programs is a disturbing sign for the overall coherence of the administration’s budget.While the Navy received a $4 billion increase in O&M funding from 2012, it could not come soon enough. The Navy has been stretched past the breaking point in terms of operational readiness, with nearly one quarter of its ships failing their annual inspection in 2011 and cracks in the aluminum superstructure of every cruiser in the Navy’s inventory.”
- He plans to dramatically cut the production rates of MQ-1 and MQ-9 drones, C-130J airlift aircraft, and F-35s – all of which will be crucial in Asia and in the ME. Indeed, his FY2013 budget, if approved, would cut USAF aircraft purchases so dramatically that even the Army and the Navy (alone) will be buying more aircraft than the USAF. Per Mackenzie Eaglen: “Undoubtedly, the U.S. Air Force is the biggest victim in this round of defense budget cuts. The Army and the Navy plan to buy more aircraft than the Air Force next year. Over the next five years, the Air Force plans to buy nearly 200 fewer aircraft than it said it needed just a year ago. The budget eliminates seven fighter squadrons and retires over 300 aircraft early, including many new C-27s and Global Hawk drones. At a time when the United States is flying the smallest and the oldest Air Force in its history, some of the budget choices for air power do not add up.”
- He plans to dramatically cut AF R&D programs. Again, to quote Eaglen: “The Air Force budget also features surprising R&D cuts. The service has reduced research funding for both unmanned vehicles and reconnaissance systems — highly networked programs that seem to fit into the administration’s focus on conducting counterterrorism and modernizing to maintain the balance of power in Asia. Additionally, the request cuts a large amount of funding for directed energy weapons across several accounts, as well as electronic warfare capabilities. Other R&D cuts slow down the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a modernization program absolutely essential to the future strength of the Air Force.”
- He plans to cut, by 15%, the already-underfunded nuclear arsenal modernization program, thus reneging on his 2010 commitment to request and budget full funding to modernize it. He is also failing to request full funding for nuclear facility modernization, and failing to request any funding whatsoever for a replacement ICBM (to replace Minuteman-III ICBMs, which were introduced in 1976).
- He plans to cut the total US nuclear arsenal (strategic and tactical, deployed and nondeployed) by a whopping 30% BELOW the already-inadequate New START levels, thus leaving the US with a far smaller nuclear arsenal than China’s (3000 nuclear warheads). His ultimate goal is to completly get rid of American nuclear weapons, even if it means disarming the US unilaterally.
Obama has dramatically weakened, and plans to further weaken, the US military in these many ways. His ultimate goal is to weaken the US military so badly that America will not be a “superpower” or even one of the strongest countries in the world, but rather, just one country, like Botswana or Germany.
He must be voted out of office this November.