How fast things change. A few months ago, the Democrats and their media allies claimed they are “the party of national security.” Now they’ve dropped their mask. Taking their cues from the likes of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter, they have officially endorsed deep defense cuts, and are now proudly the party of a weak defense. The leftist DefenseNews tabloid reports that:
“The U.S. Democratic Party’s 2012 policy platform signals it would welcome additional Pentagon spending reductions, and targets for cuts “outdated Cold War-era systems” such as nuclear weapons.”
The Dems’ platform, evidently written by the far-left elements of that party (the same people who stroke God and Jerusalem out of that platform) falsely claims that:
“In our current fiscal environment, we must also make tough budgetary decisions across the board — and that includes within the defense budget. The Budget Control Act enacted by Congress last year, with the support of Republicans and Democrats alike, mandates reductions in federal spending, including defense spending. The [Obama] administration has worked with Congress to make these decisions, which has been a strategy-driven process.”
But the facts are that:
- The DOD has already had to make many tough choices, to close over 50 weapon programs, retire hundreds of aircraft, and give up on many plans, and to find $178 bn in efficiencies from FY2012 to FY2017. The cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act – especiall sequestration – go far beyond “tough choices”. They would significantly weaken the military, and sequestration would gut it.
- The DOD is so far the ONLY government agency to have had to make tough choices and budget cuts. The Democrats have fiercely opposed, and continue to oppose, forcing any other agency or government program to make tough choices, let alone to see its budget cut. They still adamantly oppose any serious cuts to entitlements or domestic discretionary programs, despite their empty rhetoric about all agencies needing to make “tough choices.
- The cuts implemented by the Obama Administration have been purely budget-driven, not strategy-driven – from the administration’s first day in office. Obama issued his mandate to cut defense spending by $400 bn on April 13th, 2011 – long before there was even any talk of a debt ceiling hike, let alone of a Budget Control Act. As a result, the DOD has had to cut its budget, cut needed programs and units, fit its strategy to that, and put a happy face on it.
- Sequestration, if it goes through, will be another budget-dictated cut, and a deep one. And as Sec. Panetta has said, it will cause the DOD’s current “strategy” to be thrown out the window.
- Previous Obama Admin defense cuts, including the weapon program closures of 2009 and 2010, were also budget-dictated, specifically, by then OMB Director Peter Orszag.
The Dem platform also says:
“We will continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems so that we can invest in cutting-edge technologies and maintain a versatile set of capabilities required to execute a wide range of military missions.”
But the Obama Admin and the Congress have NOT so far eliminated any “outdated Cold War-era systems”; instead, they have actually forced the DOD to continue to rely on weapons produced during the Cold War while killing next-generation, post-Cold War weapon programs designed to replace these CW-era weapons and to give the military new, needed capabilities. Examples include the F-22, the MKV, the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the Airborne Laser, the CGX, the Zumwalt class, the CSAR-X, and the AC-X gunship.
What the Dems probably mean by “outdated Cold War era systems” are modern, 21st century, needed weapon systems that the military needs to protect America. That means they are both destructive and deceptive.
As for “investing in cutting-edge technologies and maintain a versatile set of capabilities required to execute a wide range of military missions”, the Dems and President Obama have undermined just about every cutting-edge technology and weapon system there has been, and through their defense cuts, have significantly shrunk the diversity and depth of capabilities needed to protect America and execute the needed missions. Vide, for example, the killing of the F-22, which has undermined America’s air superiority; the killing of several missile defense systems; the killing of the CSAR-X rescue helicopter program; the now-planned retirement of 7 of the Navy’s youngest cruisers (most of them from the Pacific); the killing of the AC-X gunship; the planned retirement of most A-10s that provide crucial close air support to troops in Afghanistan; and so forth.
Instead of investing in America’s military capabilities, the Democrats have undercut them at every opportunity.
DefenseNews also says that
“One issue that Congress likely will vigorously debate later this year is the future size of America’s atomic arsenal.
Democrats and Republicans appear unlikely to find much common ground. Republicans favor keeping the existing nuclear fleet in place, while Democrats believe the arsenal — which is expensive to operate and maintain — is ripe for cuts.”
Those are blatant lies. Firstly, the nuclear arsenal is NOT expensive to operate and maintain. According to Barack Obama’s own defense budget request, the entire annual cost of maintaining the current arsenal is roughly $7 bn, a tiny part of the annual defense budget, let alone the entire annual federal budget. No big savings can be found there.
The fleet of delivery systems is not expensive to operate and maintain, either. It is, in fact, cheap to do so, and the fleet comprises just a tiny part of the DOD’s operations&maintenance budget.
Replacing them will not be very expensive, either. One ICBM costs just $70 mn to procure. The DOD’s planned next-gen SSBNs will cost $5 bn apiece, but that cost could be dramatically reduced by building a Virginia-class variant or resuming the production of the Ohio class instead of building a whole new class of submarines. A single Virginia class sub costs only $2 bn apiece, so for a 12-sub buy, the cost would be just $24 bn.
As for bombers, the USAF itself estimates that its no-frills next-gen bomber will cost only $550 mn per unit. Moreover, this is a dual-capable bomber that the USAF needs to have anyway, for conventional missions if not for nuclear ones. So even if there were no nuclear bombs for it to carry, it would still be needed for conventional missions. Therefore, it’s something the USAF must buy anyway.
The nuclear arsenal is already too small, as Russia has reached strategic nuclear parity with and retains a huge tactical nuclear advantage over the US. China has an arsenal of up to 3,000 nuclear warheads (not the 300-400 that the leftist media often claims). North Korea is growing its nuclear arsenal, and Iran, completely uninhibited by Obama and unafraid of him, is quickly developing its own.
Moreover, unlike Russia and China, which are threats to many and protectors to nobody except NK, the US is responsible for providing a nuclear deterrent not just for itself but for 30 allies. Any further cuts will cause these allies to doubt America’s nuclear deterrent and, at some point, develop their own nuclear weapons, thus making the proliferation problem much worse.
The Dems’ platform also claims that the Obama administration
“has moved away from Cold War thinking by reducing the prominence of nuclear weapons in America’s national security strategy.”
But supporting a large, strong nuclear arsenal and a nuclear triad, and opposing cuts in these, is not “Cold War thinking”, it is a sound policy for the present and the future which has nothing to do with the Cold War, especially now that the US has to confront three nuclear-armed regimes (including a China whose nuclear arsenal is far LARGER than it was during the CW), to be joined by Iran. Nuclear weapons are the only ones that can protect America against catastrophic threats, including a WMD attack by these countries.
The Dem platform falsely claims that:
“Despite bipartisan consensus among former national security advisors, secretaries of defense, and secretaries of state that New START makes America safer, Mitt Romney strongly objected to the treaty.”
But consensus is meaningless, because it doesn’t mean that a policy or treaty is sound. In this case, it isn’t: New START is a misbegotten treaty that has made America dramatically less safe. It mandates that America reduce its strategic nuclear arsenal by 33% while Russia is allowed to grow its, does nothing about Russia’s huge lead in tactical nuclear weapons, and places serious constraints on missile defense, on Russia’s demand. Mitt Romney was absolutely right to oppose this misbegotten treaty. It belongs in the dustbin.
Moreover, the consensus was hardly universal. Many former DOS and DOD officials, including many former arms control officials and former SECDEF James Schlesinger, opposed the treaty.
The GOP platform criticizes Obama for reneging on promises to modernize America’s nuclear weapon complex, but DefenseNews, following Dem propaganda, says:
“But administration officials in recent months have called those charges unfounded, pointing to the Obama administration’s 2013 budget proposal to show the White House intends to carry out that infrastructure work.”
But the Republican charges are correct. The Obama Admin has underfunded nuclear modernization by $500 mn in its FY2013 budget plan alone, and has deferred the construction of the much-needed CMRR. It has also delayed the SSBNX program and the next-gen cruise missile by 2 years and has no plans to replace Minuteman ICBMs.
So to sum up, the Dem party:
- Calls for even deeper defense cuts than those already enacted or scheduled.
- Calls for deep cuts in the inadequate (or barely adequate, if you ask Jim Schlesinger) nuclear arsenal.
- Calls for further killing of needed weapon systems they falsely label “Cold War era weapon systems”.
- Hails the misbegotten New START treaty and the Obama Admin’s nuclear weapon cuts.
- Promises more of these policies in a potential second Obama term.
It is clear that, as has already been proven many times, the Democrats are the party of a weak defense who cannot be trusted with the military or with national security. Voters need to take this into account before deciding whom to vote for.