“We were once “second to none” in military superiority. Very soon we may be “second to all”.
“The effects have been immediate and pronounced: nearly 10,000 airmen are being cut; 227 aircraft are being prematurely retired; and critical capability shortfalls are on the rise.”
To suggest we are at a point of no return regarding U.S. military strength
would be a gross understatement. We are standing by, helpless – so it seems – as President Barack Obama plays politics with the entire future of America’s military strength and preparedness. And it’s all hanging on the President’s insistence on taxing the rich at a higher rate than everyone else. The so-called class warfare that will seriously damage our defense mechanism no matter who blinks first.
The entire boondoggle is called “Sequestration” and that’s a word you should become immediately familiar with for the sake of our nation’s future.
Mackenzie Eaglen is a resident fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies. Doug Birkey is head of government affairs for the non-partisan Air Force Association. Read what they have to say about the perilous position our military finds itself in right this very moment, by clicking right here.
Here’s just a sample:
“A year has passed since Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act-the legislation mandating sequestration. Funding cuts that once seemed politically remote now loom large for leaders increasingly anxious about the impact $1.2 trillion in automatic budget reductions will have upon their respective districts and states. An estimated two million jobs at risk is a possibility no lawmaker can ignore.
Sequestration threatens the country’s ability to allow those in uniform to do their jobs. To understand what it means in real terms, look at the Air Force. Over the past decade, the service has been hit with numerous cuts and now the 2013 budget risks pushing airmen over the brink. There comes a point when people simply cannot do more with less. Unless Congress passes a sustainable and viable alternative to the Budget Control Act, challenges arising in the Air Force will be mirrored throughout the Army, Navy and Marine Corps — curtailing the number of key policy options upon which our nation’s leaders depend.
“Sequestration threatens the country’s ability to allow those in uniform to do their jobs.”
-Mackenzie Eaglen Pentagon Seeks To Tread Water in Asia; Lacks Resources for Pivot
When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta introduced the Pentagon’s new strategic guidance this past January, he said that the country faced a “strategic turning point.” Panetta highlighted that the time had come for the nation to rebalance its broader security priorities-especially those in the Asia-Pacific region. A change in strategic focus involves a new set of mission requirements and associated capabilities. The tools optimized for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan tend to be very different than those needed elsewhere. That means a meaningful Asian pivot demands investment, not just rhetoric.
Unfortunately, recent defense budget decisions made by the Obama Administration and Congress illustrate that leaders are not adequately resourcing the military’s new global strategy. Between the existing reduction of $487 billion and sequestration’s additional half-trillion dollar cut, the Pentagon faces a very profound strategic turning point — one entirely different than that articulated by Secretary Panetta. Instead of prudently posturing for future successes, America’s armed forces are headed for a crash.
These pressures are perhaps best illustrated within the Air Force. The service absorbed 90 percent of the cuts levied on the Department of Defense in the 2013 budget — $4.8 billion of $5.2 billion. The effects have been immediate and pronounced: nearly 10,000 airmen are being cut; 227 aircraft are being prematurely retired; and critical capability shortfalls are on the rise.
The Air Force’s planned purchase of 54 aircraft in 2013 translates into a 100-year replacement rate. That’s like asking current airmen to leave their jets on the tarmac and instead fly into harm’s way in one of the Wright Brothers’ kite-like biplanes. One has to look back to 1916 to find a year when the Air Force purchased fewer aircraft. While DoD’s new strategic guidance emphasized the need to pursue “acceptable risk,” these numbers demonstrate a clear divide between the Department’s rhetorical goals and budget realities.”
And it gets dramatically worse. This is just the impact being suffered by the Air Force – long known as champions of the sky in any military confrontation. The Navy, Marines and Army are all in line for drastic cuts, which will leave our defenses ill prepared to do their job for more than a decade.
A wise man once said “we’re screwed, no matter which way we go” and that would seem an appropriate description of what President Barack Obama is doing by playing politics with our entire future. We were once “second to none” in military superiority. Very soon we may be “second to all”.
This is enough to make an old soldier cry.