The consequences of cutting the defense budget to the extent that Bruce Fein demands

As stated, Bruce Fein, an advisor to Ron Paul, has demanded a cut of the “national security budget” (what the hell is that?) to $300 bn per year. Even assuming that all of this money would be reserved to the US military (i.e.  no Department of State, no Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, no DHS, no payments of interest on the debt, no DOJ nat-sec-related agencies), this would be way too insufficient to maintain a military that would be strong enough to defend America – even if it were tasked only with defending America.

It would massacre the military and render it completely impotent.

So how would cutting the defense budget to no more than $300 bn per year impact the DOD?

There are basically two kinds of possible scenarios.

Under the first scenario, all personnel and O&M costs would be paid for, but this would consume almost all of the defense budget – $293.5 bn per year. That would leave only $6.5 bn for everything else – weapon procurement, R&D, revolving and management funds, the OSD, other central DOD agencies, missile defense, etc.

$6.5 bn per year would not be enough even to pay for the shipbuilding budget (for 12 ships per year as needed), even if the DOD was operating at 100% efficiency. And that means no money for any other weapon procurement programs and no money for R&D programs, missile defense, revolving and management funds, the OSD, or any other central DOD agencies. It would be a disaster. It would mean hollowing out the military. You can say goodbye to the US military and the vast majority of modernization programs, as well as missile defense.

The second scenario would mean a dramatic reduction of the size of the US military, resulting in a radical reduction of the personnel and and O&M budgets. That would leave more money for modernization, but still not even nearly enough, while dramatically reducing the size of the military, rendering unable to defeat the militaries of peer competitors, or even serious rogue states like North Korea, and able to defeat only one mid-sized enemy simoultaneously. It would also mean dumping all of America’s allies, leaving them to fend for themselves. It would mean a very small military that can’t respond to more than one threat at the same time, which, as General Dempsey has said, is not enough.

So both scenarios would be unacceptable. For that reason, Fein’s demands of defense cuts are absolutely unacceptable and treasonous.


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