Tag: Defense Cuts
A small nuclear arsenal would not be survivable – it would be easy for an enemy to destroy in a first strike. The smaller it is, the less survivable and easier to destroy in a first strike it is.
Sequestration, for those not yet familiar with it, is an automatic process whereby the discretionary portion of the federal budget (but not the mandatory portion, i.e. not entitlements or debt interest) will be significantly and automatically cut – and by far the heaviest cuts, over 60% of the total, will fall on the defense budget.
These are just the most damaging, most crippling of the defense cuts that POGO and TCS have proposed. Implementing them would gut the military and make it unable to counter anti-access/area-denial threats – the most pervasive and ubiquitous threats the US faces today – because TCS and POGO have targeted the very weapons and capabilities needed to counter these threats.
And the empirical evidence is that ENTITLEMENTS, not the military, are the programs Washington overspends on. According to the Heritage Foundation (see its graphs below), entitlements alone consume 62% of the total federal budget (and are on track to consume 100% by 2050), and the broader category of social/welfare spending consumes 70% of the entire federal budget.
If implemented (God forbid), his proposals would cut over 1 trillion out of the defense budget over the next decade (i.e. over 100 bn every year), and defense would take by far the biggest share of the hits under his plan. All other federal agencies and programs, including the Big Three entitlement programs, would see only small budget cuts by comparison – nothing even comparable to the massacre that Coburn wants to inflict on the military.
Barack Obama came into office explicitly promising deep defense cuts to his liberal supporters. And he has delivered. Now he plans to make even further defense cuts, which, even in the absence of sequestration, would include closing the Lima Tank Plant – the only facility in the entire United States today capable of producing tanks.
A President Romney would not appease Putinist Russia, sign unequal treaties obligating only the US to cut its nuclear deterrent, give up missile defense deployment plans for no Russian reciprocation, stand silent about Putin’s human rights violations and intimidation of Russia’s Central European neighbors like Poland, or about Russia’s repeated usage of natural gas as a weapon of intimidation.
The US Constitution is designed in such way that if both parties control a branch of the federal government, or if control of the Congress is split between the two parties, then, as Glenn Kessler rightly noted last year – neither side can forever insist on nonnegotiable demands.
Unfortunately, Congress is unlikely to spend a full 4% of GDP, let alone 830 bn per year, on defense. It may very well avert sequestration (which Republicans and Democrats agree is a disastrous and dumb idea), and a Republican-controlled Congress might pass a defense budget slightly larger than the one proposed Obama. But that’s the best-case scenario the DOD can hope for.
In short, Ben Freeman and Mia Steinle have, like other POGO anti-defense hacks, once again proven their utter ignorance, and not “waste” in the defense budget. And contrary to their pious denials that