On his InsideDefense blog at defensenews.com, that website’s editor, John T. Bennett, cheers on the WSJ’s latest, completely baseless attack on HASC GOP members and us defense conservatives in general, seconding the WSJ’s utterly blatant lies and false figures, and citing extreme leftists like Kingston Reif as credible sources of information.
Here is my rebuttal of his pathetic screed.
“Those are the kinds of figures anti-sequester lawmakers and pundits don’t like to talk about. For them, no increase in annual Pentagon funding is enough. And just about every imaginable threat is one that justifies larger yearly increases.” [Bennett]
Those are utterly blatant lies by you, by the pseudoconservative WSJ, and by the leftist C4RFB, not reliable figures. Not even the staunchest defense hawk in the US right now is calling for increases in defense spending nor exaggerating threats. What we defense conservatives, including HASC Republicans, oppose, are deep, rapid CUTS in the nation’s defense budget.
In FY2013, the sequester slashed $37 bn overnight from the base defense budget. This fiscal year, it will cut the budget further, down to just $475 bn, the lowest level of base defense spending (in real terms) since FY2003 – i.e. setting the defense budget back by over a decade. Just two FYs ago, the defense budget stood (in then-year dollars) at over $525 bn.
Contrary to the WSJ’s blatant lies, defense spending will not come anywhere close to $590 bn by FY2021 (or any other point in the next few decades, for that matter). By FY2022, it will still amount to only $493 bn – almost a hundred billion dollars less than what the WSJ and the C4RFB falsely claim. (Source: the July 11th, 2012 CBO report on the impact of sequestration.)
No, defense spending will not reach $590 bn, or any even remotely similar figure, in FY2021 or FY2022. Not even close. The figures from the leftist C4RFB, which the pseudoconservative WSJ cites, are completely false. They’re pure fabrication.
We are not talking about any defense spending increases here. These are deep, real cuts in defense spending – not cuts to the growth rate.
And the actual military consequences of such deep and rapid cuts in defense spending will be grave, contrary to your and the WSJ’s pious denials. Already during FY2013, the Navy had to cancel maintenance for dozens of ships and hundreds of a/c and cancel the Truman’s deployment to the Gulf, while the USAF had to stand 1/3 of its a/c fleet down. Now USAF pilots are leaving the service in droves because, thanks to sequestration, there’s not enough money to fly their a/c. In the long term, if sequestration persists, the military will have to deeply cut its force structure or modernization programs – or both, as evidenced by both the DOD and all non-leftist think-tanks in the US, from the CNAS and the BPC on the center-left to the AEI and Heritage on the right. Which is not surprising, given that the DOD will see its budget cut by 10%.
“To avoid a repeat, GOP veterans need to abandon their parochial interests for the greater good.” [WSJ]
Excuse me? Parochial interests? Defense is not anyone’s parochial interest – it is the highest Constitutional DUTY of the federal government. Dramatically underfunding it is a blatant dereliction of that duty. And if America’s security is not provided for, nothing else will matter – including the budget deficit, which is just a figure. America’s enemies will not wait for the US to get its fiscal house in order – China, for one, is not waiting. Greater good? Nothing could be more important for “the greater good” than providing for America’s defense.
Kingston Reif of the CACN? Ah, yet another leftist “defense source” for a pro-unilateral-disarmament, anti-defense lackey like yourself, Mr Bennett… The reality is that Reif is an ignorant, extremely leftist, anti-defense (and in particular, anti-nuclear) hack, not a credible source. He is not noted for anything except complaining ceaselessly about US nuclear weapons and their supposed cost… but he has no problems with Russia’s, China’s, or North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenals and nuclear weapons spending.
Shame on the WSJ for lying so blatantly to its readers (my rebuttal of its blatant lies will be published next week on ConservativeDailyNews), and shame on you, Mr Bennett, for lying so blatantly about such an important defense issue… AGAIN. You have been caught flat-footed. Not a word you say or write is credible. Not even one.