More defense cuts – this time, even more severe ones, and most Republicans don’t care
Posted by zbigniewmazurak on October 11, 2011
Defensenews.com has reported that the Obama Administration is already mulling several draconian force structure and weapon program cuts. Having imposed, by executive fiat, a diktat on the DOD to cut its annual core budgets by $464 bn over a decade (i.e. a whopping $46.4 bn per year on average), it is now forcing the DOD to make such desperate steps, such draconian cuts.
BTW, this is NOT required by the debt ceiling deal. The debt ceiling deal does require severe defense budget cuts, on top of all cuts already administered, but to the tune of “only” $350 bn over a decade (i.e. $35 bn per year on average), NOT $464 bn or even $450 bn. That is a goal that the Obama Administration has imposed on the DOD by executive fiat out of its own decision. This is not something that is required by any statute.
Defensenews.com reports that one of the cuts that could result from this decree would be forgoing the USS George Washington’s Refueling Complex Overhaul, decommissioning the carrier, retiring all of its crewmembers and plans, and not replacing them, as well as cutting the already-inadequate number of carrier air wings from 10 to 9. This would mean that the number of the USN’s aircraft carriers would fall permanently to 10, and for several years to even 9 – the lowest such number since before WW2 – during the time from 2013 to 2016, i.e. from when the USS Enterprise will be decommissioned to the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford.
This means that, for three years, the USN will have only 9 aircraft carriers, about 3 of which will be in refit/RCOH at any given time, which means that no more than 6 carriers will be available for service at any given time.
Cuts of an even larger magnitude can be expected by the Navy, and all other military services, if Obama is allowed to cut defense any further, even by $350 bn or $464 bn. Thus, the US military will become decrepit and totally impotent and will be unable to defend the US.
There is only one solution to this problem. And that is for House and Senate Republicans to mount a full-scale revolt against Obama and his defense cuts. ALL Republicans except Ron Paul must participate in it.
Republicans must stand united against Obama’s defense cuts and speak with one voice against him. They must tell him that:
- Under the Constitution, it is the CONGRESS, not the PRESIDENT, that determines the federal budget, including the defense budget, and therefore spending levels, and programmatic decisions;
- Under the Constitution, it is the CONGRESS that “raises and supports Armies”, “provides and maintains a Navy”, and regulates the military, and therefore, has the sole prerogative to determine the US military’s end strength and force structure;
- Because, by the Service Chiefs’ own admission, the US military is “at the ragged edge” and has been already cut too much and overused too severely, and because an entire generation of Cold War era weapons must be replaced, the Congress WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY FURTHER DEFENSE CUTS OF ANY KIND, PERIOD. This means ANY defense cuts, whether to the defense budget topline, the force structure, modernization programs, or readiness programs.
- Any reductions in end strength must be made only without straining the military and increasing the ops tempo any further, and only in line with withdrawals from combat zones, and any resulting savings must be reinvested in the military;
- Any savings, resulting from the abolition of any wasteful spending project or any bureaucracy, or any other savings, made at the DOD, must be reinvested exclusively in the DOD.
and follow these words up with actions.
The Congress must reject ANY further defense cuts that anyone, whether Obama or anyone else, proposes.
Furthermore, it must rescind the debt ceiling deal (the so-called “Budget Control Act of 2011”), scrap the so-called “Super Committee”, and start over. The debt ceiling deal is a fundamentally flawed deal that was misbegotten from the beginning.
When something’s basics are bad/flawed, nothing good can come of it. When something was misbegotten from the beginning, nothing good can come of it.
The Congress should rescind the debt ceiling deal, scrap the committee, and order all permanent Committees of the Congress to find savings in their jurisdictions. It should furthermore reject all of Obama’s defense cuts and pass budgets that will provide adequate funding, and finance enough men, weapons, installations, units (wings, brigades, fleets), weapon programs, health benefits, and readiness programs to provide for a military adequate to protect the US and its allies.
If Obama vetoes such a budget, the Congress should override his veto while simoultaneously exposing him for what he really is: a strident anti-American liberal determined to gut the US military and expose the US to attack.
In 1995, the Congress voted for a larger defense budget than what President Clinton requested. linton, determined to gut the military, vetoed it, but the Congress eventually struck a deal with him that provided slightly more funding than what Clinton requested, but less than what the Congress first passed.
There is no reason why Congress should not exercise its Constitutional prerogatives, end the Executive Branch’s usurpations, remind that branch of its limited, enumerated prerogatives, and enforce on Obama a defense budget much larger than what he will request and block any further defense cuts.
It is the CONGRESS, not the PRESIDENT, that writes defense budgets.