When Obama first announced his plan to cut defense spending by $400 bn over the next 12 FYs and gut America’s defense completely (a process he begun in 2009), on April 13th, 2011, I asked publicly how Robert Gates would respond. Gates has spoken out against further defense cuts, especially significant ones, calling them “math not strategy”, so I asked whether Gates would oppose Obama or flip-flop again (as he has done many times as SECDEF). Of course, I suspected what the answer would be: that he will flip-flop again and insist that Obama’s new round of defense cuts (motivated by the need to find money to finance Obama’s bloated socialist domestic programs at the cost of America’s defense) is justifiable.
Gates has not yet said so, but he has already begun to weaken under Obama’s pressure, and he’s now acqueiescing (spl?) to Obama’s defense cut demands. When asked by a reporter this question:
“Q: One follow-up. Last November, you criticized the deficit reduction commission’s specific cuts as math, not strategy. Could that same criticism be applied to the White House number of $400 billion that seems to have come out of thin air. “
“SEC. GATES: Well, first of all, it’s a target. And I don’t have that same criticism because of what the president said, that no specific budget decisions will be made until we’ve reviewed these things, and these choices and options are put before them. “
So when the Deficit Reduction Commission does it, it’s wrong and it’s “math, not strategy”, but when Obama the Messiah does it, it’s not wrong and it’s strategy, not math. Just like Romney’s “socialized medicine is socialized medicine if Obama does it, but not if I do it.”
And yes, as the journalist said, this $400 bn number came out of thin air. It’s a ridiculous goal imposed on the DOD by Obama, who wants to gut America’s defense and, at the same time, obtain further money for his bloated socialist domestic programs, which, as he has admitted himself, he is not going to let anyone cut.
The Deficit Reduction Commission actually included a list of specific proposals of how to do the $1 trillion defense cuts (their recommendations, if implemented, would be disastrous, but that’s another story). Obama, on the other hand, has just imposed this $400 bn goal on the DOD, although final decisions will be made by him, so even if Gates tries to minimize the pain on the DOD, he won’t be allowed to do so – Obama will try to damage the US military as severely as possible.
And even if Gates tries to minimize the pain, it won’t be easy, because after the last several rounds of DOD budget cuts, there aren’t many wasteful expenses to eliminate. There isn’t much “fat to trim”. You can’t achieve these $400 bn cuts solely by cutting wasteful expenses and oversized DOD bureaucracies. And that’s why Gates has warned that:
“Well, these are the decisions that I — that I think need to be teed up for the — for the president. As an example, there are those who argue that if you funded the department at roughly inflation for the next 12 years, that you could find this money. That may well be true.
But some of our big-ticket items are items that don’t fall within that category: health care, fuel cost. And there are others like that.
We have some investments that we have to make. We have to buy the new tanker. We have to replace some of the surface ships that will age out — that were built in the Reagan years and that will age out during this 12-year period. The question of how many is one of the questions that has to be answered.
All elements of the triad need to be modernized. You may have to make some choices there.”
In other words, the military will be severely weakened. Many crucial modernization programs, on top of those closed previously, will be cancelled, research programs will be cut, the force structure will be significantly reduced, many crucial missions will be discontinued, and the nuclear triad will shrink into a nuclear dyad. And that’s exactly what Obama wants.
Obama must be defeated in 2012. He must not be allowed to win a second term.