Tuesday, April 7, 2009

It has begun

I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems

Barack's pledge on cutting defense is coming to fruition. Defense Secretary Gates has begun the process of decimating our military. His proposed military cuts include the following (check out the links for further reading):

  • cutting aircraft carriers from 11 to 10 and decreasing production of other surface combatants
  • delaying amphibious ship programs
  • halting the planned increase of ground-based interceptors in Alaska
  • cancelling a second airborne laser (antimissile) aircraft
  • terminating the ground-vehicle element of the Army's Future Combat Systems (essentially killing the program)
  • delaying production of a new presidential helicopter
  • ending development of a new Air Force search and rescue helicopter
  • canceling the development of a new bomber
  • stopping production of the F-22 at 187 fighters
  • ending the C-17 transport aircraft

    We are going down the road of Jimmy Carter once again. Reagan had to set us on the road to recovery. Who will set us on the road to recovery after Obama gets through assuming there is a road left to recover?

    Politico states the following:

    The spending shifts reflect Gates long-stated goal to pump money into weapons and other programs that reflect the sort of fighting the United States faces these days in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not the kind of war preparations that are hold-overs from the Cold War era.

    But the cuts actually go much further than what Gates says. Moreover, we do not only face threats from Iraq and Afghanistan. We still continue to face threats from erstwhile nemeses. We continue to face threats from both Russia and China. We cannot afford to let our guard down. Obama spends trillions of dollars on his so-called stimulus plan while he leaves us vulnerable from enemies within and abroad. Yet, it is nothing he has not promised to do during his campaign. The United States must continue to have the number one military fighting force in the world with the number one defense system. Obama is about to change all that.

    Obama's order of business is to cut the defense system at the time we need it most. The Heritage Foundation notes that its ballistic missile program has been the top priority of North Korea for over 40 years. Korea's Taepo-Dong 2 has the capability or reaching Hawaii, Alaska and potentially the West Coast. Iran is currently assisting North Korea in attaining those goals. Iran has an active ballistic missile program using both Russian and North Korean Technology. Commanders in our military have been voicing their concern about the cuts.

    In its analysis the Heritage Foundation stated the following:

    • The Obama Blueprint: While a robust starting point, the Obama budget blueprint fails to fully fund the core defense needs of the United States by about $30 billion in the base defense budget.
    • Creates 10-Year Shortfall: The shortfall likely exceeds $1.3 trillion cumulatively over 10 years against the 4% of GDP benchmark identified as the cost to train, equip, and modernize America's military for the next five to 10 years.
    • Balanced Defense Program: Congress has sought to restore balance to the defense program by demanding an end to supplemental defense appropriations—such as $130 billion in war costs in this budget—and restoring the money to the core program. If pursued cautiously, this is the right approach

    Time Magazine stated:

    So here's why Defense Secretary Robert Gates kept discussions on the Pentagon's 2010 budget so secret that he swore the military's high command to silence ahead of the budget's unveiling. Aiming to shift military spending priorities from billion-dollar Cold War–era weapons to the simpler armored vehicles and spy drones needed for the "wars we are in today and scenarios for the years ahead," Gates on Monday proposed, among other things, to end funding of the advanced F-22 raptor fighter. That cut alone will spark fierce resistance on Capitol Hill, but it's only one aspect of what Gates called his "unorthodox approach" that will align military spending with today's military realities. The $534 billion budget announced by Gates on Monday amounts to a dramatic first salvo in a new war pitting the Obama Administration against the entrenched interests in the services, the defense industry, and among those on Capitol Hill whose districts benefit from investment in big-ticket weapons systems.

    At a time when we should be strengthening our military, Obama is cutting it. He asseverates his utopian views about a nuclear free world which sound good but is just plain naïve and unrealistic. Iran and North Korea are led by despots who have no intention of giving up their nuclear weapons. The only people who will give up their nuclear weapons are the Americans. We will remain the useful idiots of whom Lenin so aptly described. Obama continues his anti-nuclear rhetoric while North Korea shoots a missile. What do you think North Korea was trying to tell Obama? Obama says, "Please Kim Jon-il, can't we all just get along?" Obama said North Korea cannot just shoot missiles without consequences, but guess what? There were no consequences. Kim Jon-il knows that Obama is a paper tiger. North Korea, China, Pakistan, Russia, India, Iran (soon) and the list goes on all have nuclear weapons. Who in their right mind thinks these countries are going to give up these weapons. "Let's just sit down and dialogue" says Obama. Someone needs to inform him we cannot disinvent that which has already been invented as Kim Holmes, VP of the Heritage foundation notes:

    Surely a world without nuclear weapons is safer than one with them. But this insight is not particularly helpful for guiding arms control talks. Nuclear arms exist and, regardless of what we may want, many countries want to keep them. An exclusive focus on eliminating all nuclear weaponry distracts from the larger, more important goal of security. After all, the reason to rid ourselves of nukes is to make us safe, not simply to cut up missiles.

    The United States has to worry about terrorist attacks, rogue nations, raving lunatics as chief of states, and countries who seek the demise of the West, and what is our response – Let's talk about nuclear disarmament and the obliteration of our military, and then let's just sit down and dialogue. That must strike fear in the hearts of our enemies like nobody's business.

    On the bright side, Obama made an unexpected visit to Iraq before heading home from his appeasment European tour - miracles never cease.

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