As this CBO graph demonstrates, defense spending has gone down since FY2012, and will not return to that year’s levels until well into the 2020s – if ever.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has once again confirmed what I’ve been saying for 3 years now: that sequestration, if it is allowed to remain the law of the land, will gut the US military, depriving it of superiority over competitor militaries, and thus jeopardize US national security. Gates has been warning about this for years, as have I.
As DefenseNews reports:
Former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates ripped Washington on Thursday over sequestration budget caps, saying Congress’ inability to reach a budget compromise was causing “grave damage” to the US military, homeland security and other essential government operations.
“The most illustrative and appalling example of Congress’ abdication of responsibility is sequestration,” Gates said during an intelligence and national security forum hosted by SAP National Security Services here. “If there is a more stupid way to cut the federal budget, I am unable to imagine it.”
The biggest threat to US national security, he said, is “the political dysfunction that has led to defense cuts and military unreadiness.”
Sequestration happened because congressional Republicans and Democrats, and the White House, failed to reach a deficit-reduction package in 2011 amid differences over issues like new tax revenues and domestic entitlement programs. Gates said using defense cuts to balance the national deficit is impossible without badly weakening the military.
“Those cuts translate directly into decreased readiness and technological superiority for the United States military,” Gates said, adding later: “When we must cut the most important things we do at the same rate as the dumbest, bad things result.”
Gates also delivered a tough rebuke for isolationists:
Gates’ stinging, if familiar, criticism of Congress landed on both sides of the aisle, “deficit hawks and isolationists” on the right, and “old-school liberals” on the left.
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen: even the Defense Secretary who cut over 30 weapon programs and hundreds of billions of dollars out of defense budgets, judges sequestration a grave risk to the US military – and blames exclusively the parochial members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. The same people who couldn’t even pass a budget on time for each of the 4.5 years he was SECDEF. The same people who STILL can’t pass a budget on time and instead resort to Continuing Resolutions. The same people who parochially protect the obsolete and unsurvivable U-2 and A-10 – aircraft that have long lost whatever usefulness they might’ve once had.
You can read the whole thing here.