Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Democrats demand deep defense cuts to trim deficit

Barney Frank mulls over how much to cut
Washington DC, Jul 19, 2011. If Democrats think "more government spending" is a sure way to create new jobs and end the Obama Recession, then why are they so anxious to slash our Defense Budget?

After all, virtualy all that Defense spending is spent right here in the USA, creating jobs for Americans.

According to a report from the Washington Times, the political left (i.e. "the Democrats")  are pressing the White House and Congress to inflict a wave of Pentagon budget cuts not seen since the post-Cold War 1990s.

The last time we made drastic cuts, it was at the cost of reducing our intelligence and information gathering, which led directly to being blind sided by the 911 attack.

Liberals are citing the debt crisis and troop drawdowns from Iraq and Afghanistan to argue that now is the time for the Defense Department to shed people, missions and weapons after a decade of doubling arms spending after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The proposals, including one from the Center for America Progress, go well beyond President Obama’s call in April for $400 billion in defense cuts over 12 years.

The center, run by John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to President Clinton, wants that much in reductions over the next three years and $1 trillion from what had been projected increases over the next decade.

Plans for our next bombers will be scrapped
Some House Democrats, led by Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, also have called for $1 trillion in cuts.

“I think this is the time because of a combination of the deficit and the changing way in which we’re going to deal with threats from groups like al Qaeda,” said American Progress’ Lawrence Korb, a longtime defense analyst in Washington.

Mr. Korb said the Obama administration has dumped President George W. Bush’s overall war strategy of preemptive attacks against terrorist states, and he cited just-retired Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’ warning against any future land wars in the Middle East.

The bottom line is that the center wants projected increases ended and the overall arms budget reduced to $500 billion by 2016, which would be $111 billion below the Pentagon’s already pared-down projection.

“Gates said we don’t have to go back to Cold War levels,” Mr. Korb said. “Well, we’re above Cold War levels. And that’s part of the problem.”

Gordon Adams, a defense budget official in the Clinton White House, told the House Budget Committee this month that Mr. Obama’s $400 billion number “is a very small step.” He endorsed more than doubling that figure.

The Pentagon has not heard such rhetoric since the Berlin Wall fell and Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush squeezed as much as 35 percent out of intelligence and defense spending.

After al Qaeda’s attack on the United States, defense proponents said such a deep downturn had been a mistake, leaving intelligence agencies and some aspects of the military not ready to fight a global war against terrorists.

The Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle will be cut
 Now, they say, America is about to repeat the mistake, as China and Iran flex their muscles and radical Islam remains a global threat.

Daniel Goure, an analyst at the pro-business Lexington Institute, said the left has it all wrong.

The Pentagon needs more money, unless it abandons or curtails its presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, he said.

“If you do what we did the last time, which is essentially salami slice, take bits and pieces from everything and everybody, then you are essentially going to back where you were after Vietnam and at the end of the Cold War drawdown.

Too many missions. Too many deployments. Not enough stuff. Not enough people.”

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