Pentagon bracing for 30% reduction in Army base operations

posted at 10:01 am on January 23, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

How bad will the cuts to defense spending affect the military readiness of the US? The Pentagon has begun to game out the impact of another round of steep cuts, and even fly-overs at public events will feel the slice of the axe.  More importantly, Army base operations will get reduced by 30%, and military leaders are warning of a “hollow force” with a mandate that cannot possibly be met:

Bracing for the possibility of steep congressionally mandated budget cuts, senior military officials have issued directives for fiscal retrenchment that include a 30 percent cut for Army base operations this year, personnel cuts and a halt to unnecessary fighter jet swoops during special events.

The military is ordering these trims reluctantly as the Pentagon prepares for the $52 billion shortfall it says it would face this fiscal year if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal by March 1 avoiding across-the-board cuts under the scenario known as sequestration. As the deadline looms, Pentagon officials have lashed out at Congress in unusually stern terms.

“The readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey wrote to Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in a Jan. 14 letter also signed by the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. “Budget conditions unfolding right now are causing this readiness crisis.”

The letter said “we are on the brink of creating a hollow force,” because under the current budget conditions and legislation, the Pentagon could be ordered to keep a number of troops it can’t adequately sustain.

According to the Post, the Air Force has already begun implementing cuts but still faces a nearly $2 billion deficit for the rest of this fiscal year.  That’s one reason why we won’t be seeing fly-overs at sporting events, and the Air Force’s participation in air shows — a big recruiting environment — will stop as well.  The Navy and the Air Force have both imposed a hiring freeze, and the Pentagon says that the pending sequestration could mean furloughs for its entire 800,000 civilian employees.

The sequestration followed a previous round of cuts in Defense that took $500 billion out of projected spending over the next decade already.  Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has repeatedly warned that the sequestration would be “unworkable” and a “disaster.” Now it appears that the sequestration has become a reality, and the “hollow force” a real possibility.

Into this steps … Chuck Hagel.  With Chuck Schumer’s blessing in hand, he’s likely to get confirmed as Panetta’s successor, and it’s become clear that Obama wants Hagel to serve as a hatchet man to reduce defense spending even further.  That will not only put Obama on a collision course with Congress, but also on a collision course with the operational philosophy at Defense, which has had the mission to prepare for two hot wars at once since WWII.  It’s possible to reduce defense spending significantly, but only if the US wants to retreat from its global position of security leadership and guarantor of safe trade.  While that may possibly be Obama’s aim, interventions like Libya would then be off the table entirely (perhaps not a bad idea, considering that outcome), and certainly the same could be said of organizing against terrorism in Asia and Africa, and providing for the defense of Europe.

This should be an interesting confirmation hearing.

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Didn’t President Obama actually use the phrase “peace in our time” in his speech? I think a hollow force will match a hollow CIC quite well.

JeremiahJohnson on January 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Obamaphones, food stamps and disabilty claims……..Obama is awesome!

dmann on January 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Increadibly enough, half the voting population chose this.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I miss Reagan.

bernzright777 on January 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

The irony is that the military has provided a huge “economic stimulus” over the past decade. Just think of how many people it employed as soldiers, civilian employees, defense contractors, construction contractors, etc.

Outlander on January 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Impressive that the republicrats have negotiated a 1/3 reduction of military capacity while getting ZERO cuts to entitlements….

WHY DOES THE REPUBLICAN PARTY EVEN EXIST?

lm10001 on January 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I miss Reagan.

bernzright777 on January 23, 2013 at 10:07 AM

At this point, I miss Jimmy Carter. Carter was well-meaning but incompetent. The rat-eared bastard is simply pure evil.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

The irony is that the military has provided a huge “economic stimulus” over the past decade. Just think of how many people it employed as soldiers, civilian employees, defense contractors, construction contractors, etc.

Outlander on January 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Now Obama can reassign them to erect windmills and solar panels.

Or else they can be unemployed and on food stamps.

Options, people!

FORWARD!

Good Lt on January 23, 2013 at 10:12 AM

That’s one reason why we won’t be seeing fly-overs at sporting events, and the Air Force’s participation in air shows — a big recruiting environment — will stop as well.

I take exception to this. I’ve always heard that the fly-overs were done as part of necessary training time. That was the response given when people questioned whether they were just a waste of money. It sounds like they’re saying otherwise now?

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Contract it out..

It worked well for Ambassador Stevens..
/

Electrongod on January 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

At this point, I miss Jimmy Carter. Carter was well-meaning but incompetent. The rat-eared bastard is simply pure evil.

Happy Nomad on January 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Christ. Four more years of your crying.

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

God forgive me, but I do hope the next 9/11(s) hit the liberal bastions that put Obama in office–twice.

BuckeyeSam on January 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

There can never be enough money for his people.

OldEnglish on January 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

does that mean our military budget will be 10x bigger than the next 10 combined or only 8x?

nonpartisan on January 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

It’s possible to reduce defense spending significantly, but only if the US wants to retreat from its global position of security leadership and guarantor of safe trade. While that may possibly be Obama’s aim, interventions like Libya would then be off the table entirely (perhaps not a bad idea, considering that outcome), and certainly the same could be said of organizing against terrorism in Asia and Africa, and providing for the defense of Europe.

So we’re the security leader, the guarantor of safe trade, the organizer against terror in Asia and Africa, and the defender of Europe.

And we pay for it all.

(And I think the defense of America is implicit, but it’s interesting that it wasn’t mentioned)

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:14 AM

OK. Call it a cut in training.
Feel better.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

What is the point of training, if there is no war to be waged?

Peace in our time.

OldEnglish on January 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Sad to say but I’m with you there buckeye

And should it happen the gop will still get the blame due to sequestration

It will always be the gops fault

cmsinaz on January 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

K. Call it a cut in training.
Feel better.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Exactly my point. They call it whatever they want to keep the money flowing.

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

(And I think the defense of America is implicit, but it’s interesting that it wasn’t mentioned)

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

When the defense of my country is initiated at our coast instead of off-shore, I better not hear folks brgging about it.
It simply is not something to talk about.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Cool, no more using spending advanced weapons to hit a single house in some mideast shiithole to try and keep some nearby dude’s goats from getting killed. Now we can go back to the old method of creeping artillery barrages from one end of the village to the other.

Sure, more little brown people will get killed but hey, Bark is preznit now and we don’t care about such things anymore.

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Our enemies are pleased.

kingsjester on January 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Peace in our time.

OldEnglish on January 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Some folks out there beg to differ.
Sending F-16s to Egypt does not help.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Some folks out there beg to differ.
Sending F-16s to Egypt does not help.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Yeah, let’s cut our defense and at the same time send the Muslim brotherhood some F-16′s so they can prepare for war with Israel.

b1jetmech on January 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Our enemies are pleased.

kingsjester on January 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Bigot, this is a good thing. China and Russia still have the human wave assault in their military manuals, certainly we can learn the same tactic. Forget advanced weaponry, just point our soldiers toward the enemy and tell them to charge.

“One rifle for every other man. When the man with the rifle falls, pick up his rifle and keep moving forward.”

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Indeed! Talk about mixed messages!

OldEnglish on January 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

Either we cut back and stop playing world policeman for free or we start charging for our services. Korea. Japan. The whole EU. Pay up. Oil shipping lanes. $20 per barrel surcharge for every drop that goes through the Strait of Hormuz, etc. If they don’t like that, then give Russia and China a ringee dingee and see how that works out for you. Sick of it. And I’m sick of the inconsistency from conservatives on this issue. ALL of government needs to be drastically slashed. Defense included.

Borgcube on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Bishop on January 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Allahu akbar!

kingsjester on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

This is horrible. Instead of having a defense budget bigger than the next 20 largest countries combined, we’ll only have a budget bigger than the next 14 largest combined.

Red dawn will become a reality.

Pablo Honey on January 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Impressive that the republicrats have negotiated a 1/3 reduction of military capacity while getting ZERO cuts to entitlements….

lm10001 on January 23, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I vaguely remember that the sequester was supposed to consist of equal cuts to defense and entitlements. Had the latter never occurred?

That said, military could use trimming here and there. For one, we could perfectly do without European military bases. There is no point to protect them from militant Communism and radical Islam from abroad since they have plenty of both at home. We could also easily lose half the command brass and have nothing but performance improvement for it.

Archivarix on January 23, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Exactly my point. They call it whatever they want to keep the money flowing.

segasagez on January 23, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Real shame that they want their pilots to practice. Real shame.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The irony is that the military has provided a huge “economic stimulus” over the past decade. Just think of how many people it employed as soldiers, civilian employees, defense contractors, construction contractors, etc.

Outlander on January 23, 2013 at 10:09 AM

The modern military has been a workforce multiplier pretty much since the Reagan years. Take the capable and willing, give them job training and leadership experience, and whether they make a 4 year stint or a 20 year career, most of them are better off for it.

I can only speak for my position right now as an Army instructor, but cuts are already happening. As of the new year my post had two chow halls shut down rather than be updated to meet OSHA requirements, so instead we force-march our trainees 20 minutes each way halfway across post to get to a crowded chow hall where they’ll have maybe 10 minutes to eat. I know, to some that’s how training out to be, but for our guys, they spend a year at the schoolhouse, and that’s not the best way to put a good taste for the Army in their mouths. Also, it’s not so bad being that it’s January in Arizona, to march 40 minutes, half of it with a full belly. But it’s gonna start getting hot in a couple of months, and that’s gonna suck.

Sgt Steve on January 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The bayonet manufacturers are pleased with this situation. And now Obama can say, “we used to have ships that airplanes can land on a submarines that go under the water!” I have zero regard for this man and I use the term “man” loosely.

Deano1952 on January 23, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Our enemies are pleased.

kingsjester on January 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

And it is good to note the plural.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Either we cut back and stop playing world policeman for free or we start charging for our services. Korea. Japan. The whole EU. Pay up.

Borgcube on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

This. There are simply no other alternatives.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I know, to some that’s how training out to be, but for our guys, they spend a year at the schoolhouse, and that’s not the best way to put a good taste for the Army in their mouths.

Sgt Steve on January 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM

All part of the plan.
Easier to implement the “Civilian Army” when the time comes.

LoganSix on January 23, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The modern military has been a workforce multiplier pretty much since the Reagan years. Take the capable and willing, give them job training and leadership experience, and whether they make a 4 year stint or a 20 year career, most of them are better off for it.

Sgt Steve on January 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM

The modern Democrat would beg to differ.
They say unemployment insurance is a better multiplier.
Really. They do.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

nonpartisan on January 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM

…again!…you have shitferbrains…the rest of you is a septic field…AND you are overflowing!

KOOLAID2 on January 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

This. There are simply no other alternatives.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

You’re probably right, but I hope you understand the consequences of pulling out of all these areas will be to send, for example, Korea and Japan into the orbit of China.

Doomberg on January 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

“More flexibility after the election.”

Bmore on January 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

How bad will the cuts to defense spending affect the military readiness of the US?

Not one iota.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM

There was a time during Clinton’s reign my unit had to buy copy paper and office supplies on our own if we wanted to do our jobs.

docflash on January 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM

You’re probably right, but I hope you understand the consequences of pulling out of all these areas will be to send, for example, Korea and Japan into the orbit of China.

Doomberg on January 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Understand, I’m not like Dumb-te. If we absolutely must stay in Korea, Japan, and Israel, so be it. But at a bare minimum the free ride has to end. We are trillions in debt to the point we’ll never pay it back.

There are going to be a lot of places we’re going to have to leave whether we like the aftermath or not. If we have to stay in a handful of nations to prevent rising powers like China, that’s one thing. But we cannot protect – for example – the whole of Europe from their own follies. It’s not even physically possible let alone financially.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 10:53 AM

And fly-overs at public events should be forbidden. It’s an absolute waste.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Just wait until military bases start laying off all their civilian workers and local economies take a nose-dive.

Democrats will then find out what ‘military spending’ really means.

GarandFan on January 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

DRUDGE REPORT ‏@DRUDGE_REPORT

The Donald Wants to Buy The New York Times… http://drudge.tw/10RNaai

Resist We Much on January 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Just wait until military bases start laying off all their civilian workers and local economies take a nose-dive.

Democrats will then find out what ‘military spending’ really means.

GarandFan on January 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Something for you: link

Government is already seizing money out of the economy in order to redistribute it to those “civilian workers”. The negative impact is already there.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Time to start learning Chinese. Bareback Obama is hell bent on making sure this country will suffer an invasion on our own soil at some point. Forget the birther stuff, has anyone seen the back of his head to make sure there isn’t three 6′s on it?

Rockshine on January 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

None of this matters. This poor sick Republic is on a steep slope to its own destruction and Obama will ensure it stays there. The only thing that can turn around this insanity is civil war . . . rational discourse has ended.

rplat on January 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

The modern military has been a workforce multiplier pretty much since the Reagan years. Take the capable and willing, give them job training and leadership experience, and whether they make a 4 year stint or a 20 year career, most of them are better off for it.

Sgt Steve on January 23, 2013 at 10:38 AM

And when you consider the civilian and contractor work forces, the military provides productive high tech work for a huge number of engineers and scientists.
But fundamentally, while the people in and working for the military (civil service and contractors) are a government / taxpayer cost/expense – at least the country is getting something in return for that expense – unlike entitlements where we get NOTHING in return.

Defense cuts could be made that would not affect military capabilities – if they were made in the right places – which I doubt will happen.
In the DoD agency I work for, they’ve added so many civil service people, many of them hae no real job, so they create meetings and document products to justify their existence. But now they’ve created so much new “make work” they’re trying to justify hiring MORE civil service people to handle all the additional “work”.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

But fundamentally, while the people in and working for the military (civil service and contractors) are a government / taxpayer cost/expense – at least the country is getting something in return for that expense – unlike entitlements where we get NOTHING in return.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

What positive is the country getting back?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Government is already seizing money out of the economy in order to redistribute it to those “civilian workers”. The negative impact is already there.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Those “civilian workers” are your friends, family and associates. They are of all colors, religions, and social status and they form a significant portion of our economy throughout the country. Obviously you have no concept of the physical world or, if you’re a liberal, you simply don’t care.

rplat on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

What’s wrong with reducing base presence in Germany, England, Italy, Japan etc?

I don’t get it.

Why is American tax money still going to keep so many overseas bases open when we are now the United States of Brokeistan?

Let the Europeans and Japanese pay their own freight.

I’m tired of paying for the BabyMama’s here at home and the foreign military welfare too.

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Those “civilian workers” are your friends, family and associates. They are of all colors, religions, and social status and they form a significant portion of our economy throughout the country. Obviously you have no concept of the physical world or, if you’re a liberal, you simply don’t care.

rplat on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Any personal relationships is completely irrelevant to the fact of economics, as are their race, color, creed, social status, etc.

Obviously, you are entirely ignorant of economics. I suggest you click on the link in my post and learn. It’s a very short read.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Time to start learning Chinese. Bareback Obama is hell bent on making sure this country will suffer an invasion on our own soil at some point. Forget the birther stuff, has anyone seen the back of his head to make sure there isn’t three 6′s on it?

Rockshine on January 23, 2013 at 10:59 AM

While I do think it would be a good idea for a lot more Americans to learn Chinese, if it’s for the purpose of conversing with invaders I’d recommend Spanish.

DarkCurrent on January 23, 2013 at 11:12 AM

What positive is the country getting back?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Your freedom to spout your anarchist BS – though I sometimes question the value of that.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

And I’m sick of the inconsistency from conservatives on this issue. ALL of government needs to be drastically slashed. Defense included.

Borgcube on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

When our guys who are actually in harms’ way start operating with old intel because we can no longer afford daily interaction with HUMINT assets, we might as well pack up our bags and go home rather than put them even more at risk.

Most conservatives I know WOULD agree with you if we didn’t know the lib mindset: we offer Defense cuts, and in return Libs hint at the possibility of suggesting to someone way down the food chain the idea of maybe slightly lowering the rate of future increases in entitlement spending for a generation that hasn’t been born yet. The same generation we are trying to preserve with a strong defense.

Did you not watch Joe Biden at the VP debate? There is no conversation with people who pound the table and yell at you while totally missing the point.

According to Libs, WE are a greater threat to the America they are creating than any foreign power or terrorist organizations.

rwenger43 on January 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Why is American tax money still going to keep so many overseas bases open when we are now the United States of Brokeistan?
Let the Europeans and Japanese pay their own freight.
I’m tired of paying for the BabyMama’s here at home and the foreign military welfare too.

Bruno Strozek on January 23, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I would agree we don’t necessarily need all of the bases we have overseas, but there are some that we really do need.
Our spacetrack and missile warning/defense capabilities are very dependent on having tracking stations scattered around the world – like Greenland (owned by Denmark), England, Italy, Spain, Japan, Korea, Marshall Islands, Ascension Island, Antigua, and a few others. Without these sites, we could not track everything in space as we do and could not operate and maintain our satellite constellations. Just one slant to consider on the overseas base issue.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM

What positive is the country getting back?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Go look up “dual use technology” sometimes. I’m guessing you have no clue how much technology you use on a daily basis originated from military and space programs – for instance – the intial technologies for creation of internet that you are currently using was developed in DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). So yes – you can thank the DoD engineers and scientists for a lot of what you have – in addition to your freedoms.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Those “civilian workers” are your friends, family and associates.
rplat on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Sorry rplat – but you’re making the faulty assumption that dante actually has friends or associates….

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:30 AM

What positive is the country getting back?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Do you ever use a little something called GPS?
Guess who developed, owns, operates and maintains that entire system?

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:33 AM

SOOO funny that Obozo talks about ‘restoring science to its proper place,’ because he obviously is referring to scientific theory. The applied sciences of technology that have real value and therefore are in demand and therefore create good jobs, those sciences that have improved the quality of life for everyone around the world have no better or bigger patron than the US Department of Defense. But Obozo demonizes and bullies cutting-edge private industry, turns NASA into a PR firm and extols the beauty of the mud hut.(JK–a little snarkiness about his brother George is all that was.)

So the Progressive vision is actually regressive, But we knew that, didn’t we?

rwenger43 on January 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM

The Clintonesque ‘peace dividend’ is yet another plank in the Marxist drive to weaken and imperil this nation. This drawdown / stagnation will drive yet more highly experienced and capable people from the services. They’ll leave in disgust and boredom as training budgets are cut and barracks life becomes nothing but queer sensitivity lectures and urinalysis tests. Just like what happened in the 90s.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM

What positive is the country getting back?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

#1–Peace is less expensive than war
#2–Allies are trading partners
#3–Countries wealthy from pursuing relatively free economies are better trading partners than countries poor from pursuing statist/fascist/socialist economies
#4–defending the USA on someone else’s land is much better than defending the USA on our own soil

iconoclast on January 23, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Your freedom to spout your anarchist BS – though I sometimes question the value of that.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Oh for the days when we deported anarchists, communists, and other America-hating simpletons.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Rather than build up their robust ‘civil force as strong as the military, they are instead weakening and subverting our military until it will be incapable of thwarting their Purpleshirt masses. Note the political destruction of our most capable fighting generals. Note the subversion and conversion into pets of he weaker generals. The deliberate sapping of morale via program cuts, imposition of queerness, crappy leftist-cheering ship names, screwed up ROEs that hazard our lives, breathalyzer tests, demonization as psychotics and suicide-prone deficients, and now massive budget cuts which wii gut operational training.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Asking the Pentagon how much it would like having it’s budget cut is no different than asking Big Agriculture how much it would like having farm subsidies cut.

soladoras on January 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Either we cut back and stop playing world policeman for free or we start charging for our services. Korea. Japan. The whole EU. Pay up.

Borgcube on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

This. There are simply no other alternatives.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

And we might just be astounded to see

1.) How few countries would opt to pay up
2.) How little that would change anything
3.) How much money we have been pouring down the hole by taking on responsibilities no one asked us to do and continuing to fulfill them out of some misplaced mixture of pride and overextension.

Those are dangerous sentiments. Get out a world atlas and take a look around at all the tiny little islands that still make up the British Overseas Empire. Islands like St. Kitts and Nevis, Pitcairn Island and the Falklands, Cyprus and St. Helena and Ascuncion, the list goes on and on. Tiny, insignificant, mostly useless – and expensive.

Projecting global power takes a lot of money, folks. I say we nuke one of our tiny unpopulated islands in the Pacific as a show of what we’ll do to anyone to touches an ally of ours, and we call it good at that.

JoseQuinones on January 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Man most of these comments are shit. This place is really overrun with liberals and liberaltarian[sic] douchebaggery. Ignorant grasping isolationist savages.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Asking the Pentagon how much it would like having it’s budget cut is no different than asking Big Agriculture how much it would like having farm subsidies cut.

soladoras on January 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Absolutely true. No gubmint bureaucracy will ever volunteer to be cut. We the people have to TELL all of them what they will cut. In many cases (EPA, Education, DOE, etc) – they should be cut 100%.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:54 AM

There can never be enough money for his people.

OldEnglish on January 23, 2013 at 10:16 AM

EXACTLY… the money will come from the military directly to the “47%”…

The Hollow Force will learn to live on a shoestring while the 47% stay home and reap their “entitlements”…

Why ANYONE in the military votes DIMOCRAT has always perplexed me…

Khun Joe on January 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Man most of these comments are shit. This place is really overrun with liberals and liberaltarian[sic] douchebaggery. Ignorant grasping isolationist savages.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Don’t sugarcoat it – what do you really think?/
;)

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Asking the Pentagon how much it would like having it’s budget cut is no different than asking Big Agriculture how much it would like having farm subsidies cut.

soladoras on January 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Asking ? Or telling ?
And either way there is a huge difference.

Jabberwock on January 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Why ANYONE in the military votes DIMOCRAT has always perplexed me…

Khun Joe on January 23, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Just like any other work force – the military has their share of dim bulbs. I honor their service – but there are some who just aren’t terribly bright.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

And I’m sick of the inconsistency from conservatives on this issue. ALL of government needs to be drastically slashed. Defense included.

Borgcube on January 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Speak for yourself – not all conservatives are rabid about cutting the govt functions that they see as valid responsibilities of the federal govt. Defense is one of the basic functions we should be funding – rather than squishy stuff. Don’t confuse conservative with libertarian.

katiejane on January 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM

What the Left does not seem to understand, and I mean from Obama all the way down to the idiot at the cubicle down the hall, is that the best way to ensure peace is to make sure that those who would break it understand that they are going to get their ass kicked as a result. The best way to encourage bad behaviour is for them to understand that it will incur no unwanted consequences.

Counter-intuitive to those who think in static terms (sure, raise taxes; it’ll bring in more money!) is that the cold war STAYED cold because of nuclear arsenals. Neither side was willing to risk a major confrontation. A nuke-free world is a more dangerous place.

Likewise for a world with a weak America. Unfortunately, this applies to military might, economic robustness, and moral courage. All of which are being degraded by Salinsky/Soros (and their lieutenants, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and dam near all of the current cabinet members).

And just for the word watchers at NSA: guns, bombs, planes, assassinate, terror, and, uh…I dunno, tea party? That should get me an honorable mention.

NeoCon_1 on January 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Not one iota.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:52 AM

You’re an idiot.

Solaratov on January 23, 2013 at 12:04 PM

What the Left does not seem to understand, and I mean from Obama all the way down to the idiot at the cubicle down the hall, is that the best way to ensure peace is to make sure that those who would break it understand that they are going to get their ass kicked as a result. The best way to encourage bad behaviour is for them to understand that it will incur no unwanted consequences.
NeoCon_1 on January 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Exactly – and it’s relevant all the way down to preventing burglaries and school shootings. When the bad guys know (or even think) the person they are attacking may have overwhelming lethal capabilities – they are far less likely to attack.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

The cuts are only devastating because DoD is impotent when it comes to accurately assessing cost vs. value.

So long as DoD, the military, and the politicians that are supposed to be overseeing them are fixated on the “spend” rather than the “value”, we’ll never get control of spending – both in defense and not.

allanbourdius on January 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

And we might just be astounded to see

1.) How few countries would opt to pay up
2.) How little that would change anything
3.) How much money we have been pouring down the hole by taking on responsibilities no one asked us to do and continuing to fulfill them out of some misplaced mixture of pride and overextension.

1. I wouldn’t be surprised; most of our protectorates are spoiled.
2. Probably. We’d still have to leave.
3. Now that I likely would be surprised by.

Those are dangerous sentiments. Get out a world atlas and take a look around at all the tiny little islands that still make up the British Overseas Empire. Islands like St. Kitts and Nevis, Pitcairn Island and the Falklands, Cyprus and St. Helena and Ascuncion, the list goes on and on. Tiny, insignificant, mostly useless – and expensive.

Very good points. Hell look at all the trouble they had keeping a bunch of 2nd-world peasants off the Falklands. And that’s just ONE of the dinkball islands.

Projecting global power takes a lot of money, folks. I say we nuke one of our tiny unpopulated islands in the Pacific as a show of what we’ll do to anyone to touches an ally of ours, and we call it good at that.

JoseQuinones on January 23, 2013 at 11:51 AM

+100. It has been far too long since the world was reminded of the power we really could throw around if we wanted. And if we aren’t going to drop one on Mecca, this is the next best thing.

Man most of these comments are shit. This place is really overrun with liberals and liberaltarian[sic] douchebaggery. Ignorant grasping isolationist savages.

rayra on January 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Dumb-te is not the be-all and end-all of sentiment that we cannot be the world’s babysitter. He just thinks he is.

Get over the fact that the era of Uncle Sugar dandling half the !@#$ world on his knee is about to end. And if you don’t like that, I’ll just leave it to the fiscal cliff to hit you with reality harder than I ever could.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Oh please. I’m as conservative as they come, but even I am getting sick and tired of the Republican worship of the military budget. The military is as bloated as any other department run by our government. It’s chock full of cronyism, special interest pork, fraud, waste, and abuse. Large parts of the budget are based solely on what will get particular members of Congress re-elected in their district, not based on what the military actually needs to keep us safe.

And, yes, it’s time for us to also be willing to admit that our military has been used in a multitude of ways that are not anticipated nor authorized under the Constitution. I am not a Ron Paul “get out of everywhere and don’t ever do anything unless we’re directly attacked” type. But I do think we could be more judicious in our use of military force, and I think it would also be a good idea to go back to the Constitutional instruction that Congress, and no one else, gets to declare war.

In short, we can cut the military budget and still be safe. Most of the proposals on the table, even the sequester, are only taking us back to what our military budget was in 2008 or 2007, hardly a time of austerity in the defense budget. It’s time for Republicans to accept that if we want to be taken seriously on fiscal matters, and we truly want to balance our budget, the military spending must be on the table as well.

Shump on January 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

The military does need cuts, although probably not what Hagel and Obama have in mind. The military also needs major reforms and redeployment. We have to prepare for the possible major threat of the future which is China. I said “possible” because I am not sure what road China is going to take, but right now it looks like they are taking the militarist route that was taken by Germany and Japan in the late 19th century.

Any spending has to take China into account. Any future conventional war with China is going to take place at sea and in the air. We have allies like Japan, South Korea, and other possible allies like India, Vietnam, etc. that have plenty of boots on the ground already. Much of the contested land will be small in area.

So therefore here is what we need to do:

(1) The Army does need to be cut. We don’t need troops in Europe (Soviet threat is gone), and increasingly we won’t need them in the Middle East either (we have plenty of Natural Gas, Oil, etc., in North America). A large army is not going to be very useful in any war with China unless we actually plan on invading China and that obviously is a no go. We should reduce the army by half, perhaps more. We will keep the reserves and national guard in case we need to call up large amounts of troops for some reason which is unforeseen.

(2) Increase the spending on the U.S. Navy. The Navy is going to play a critical role in any war with China. We must also increase the spending on the U.S. Marines.

(3) The Air Force needs to have some cuts, but nothing major.

It is important that the GOP shows it is willing to reform the military just like it is entitlements. The age of the Bush Doctrine is over and it was a disaster. We can’t waste money parading around the Islamic world trying to civilize them. Next time they do something stupid take a lesson from the last time…and just bomb them until they cry uncle, and declare victory. We bigger and more important things to worry about.

William Eaton on January 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM

My first question was whether it was in our national interest to have nations like Japan and Germany re-arm themselves in order to defend their national interests/sovereignty. Japan faces an aggressive and expansionary China. Russia really doesn’t desire to expand beyond its historical borders (though I wouldn’t want to be a Ukranian/Georgian/Latvian) so maybe Western Europe will remain effectively de-militarized.

But the better question will be what will happen when the USA inevitably withdraws from the world policeman role. The ongoing destruction of our economy and wealth will force the USA to severely restrict military spending. If not now then over the next decade as entitlements and public employee graft in the form of pensions eat up more and more of the private economy even as regulatory fascists ensure that there is less and less private economy.

Will the oceans provide enough of a defense? Will European-style appeasement keep our enemies at bay? Will we retain any allies worthy of the notion?

iconoclast on January 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

My first question was whether it was in our national interest to have nations like Japan and Germany re-arm themselves in order to defend their national interests/sovereignty.

But the better question will be what will happen when the USA inevitably withdraws from the world policeman role.

iconoclast on January 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

It’s not only in OUR national interest, it’s in THEIR national interest.

If absolutely nothing else, the fiscal cliff is going to derail our current national policy. Short of declaring WW3 against EastAsia, which Obama will not do, it’s going to happen. Therefore nations like Germany must re-arm. And frankly if they re-conquer Europe, so long as they aren’t relighting the ovens I don’t fricking care.

What happens after we leave will largely depend on whether our former protectorates use their brains, grow a spine, and start preparing to fund their own self-defense as has been the norm for thousands of years.

MelonCollie on January 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

My first question was whether it was in our national interest to have nations like Japan and Germany re-arm themselves in order to defend their national interests/sovereignty.

iconoclast on January 23, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Do we really consider that Japan and Germany are potential threats to us at this stage? I seriously doubt it. Therefore, given the lack of a threat there and our need to curb our spending, I think it’s absolutely essential that Japan and Germany re-arm and protect themselves. Which is not to say that we, as a close ally, would not come to their aid if attacked. Of course we would. But we don’t need to be the military force for Japan any more than we are the military force for Great Britain.

What I think is ironic is that we continue to keep our military in locations such as Japan and Germany based on historical reasons, but yet we’re allowing every despotic nation around the globe, from China to Iran, to arm itself to the teeth. Something seems a bit backward there.

Shump on January 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

What I think is ironic is that we continue to keep our military in locations such as Japan and Germany based on historical reasons, but yet we’re allowing every despotic nation around the globe, from China to Iran, to arm itself to the teeth. Something seems a bit backward there.

Shump on January 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Actually we do need our Navy bases in Japan to protect our national interest. The Chinese can block major trade routes and thus hold America hostage.

I remember the Japanese wanting to buy F-22s from us we denied them because we were scared of China stealing the technology, which they are basically doing anyway. Why not turn the U.S. into the arsenal of democracy again. It would keep our defense industry going producing the best weapons on earth and also allow us to cut our military commitments around the world.

There is a big market for our weapons out there. It would create jobs in America and would also put pressure on the Russian arms sellers. It work well for America in the past. We are just too dam stingy wit our allies who actually want to buy our stuff. In other words not a hand out, our Allies (yes only to our allies) actually want to give us lots of money for our weapons….capitalism, oh how we have forgotten you….

William Eaton on January 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

The DoD budget needs to be cut just the same as the rest of the gov’t. A civilian DoD employee should not be given an undefined pension any more than a DoE employee should be given one.

Further, we should drastically cut back on our nuclear arsenal. The USSR has been gone for quite a long time and there is no country even in our rearview mirror that is capable of matching us for the foreseable future. We haven’t used these things since ’45 and it is hard to imagine a scenario where they will be used on a massive scale.

Finally, the B-2 fyling over the Rose Parade and other sporting events is a big waste of money.

Lou Budvis on January 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Defense needs to be cut. The outlandish spending has to stop and we can make significant cuts without impairing the military’s effectiveness.

lexhamfox on January 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Defense needs to be cut. The outlandish spending has to stop and we can make significant cuts without impairing the military’s effectiveness.

lexhamfox on January 23, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Start with the pork spending that Congress forces DoD to make on systems and services that the military does not need or want.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

A civilian DoD employee should not be given an undefined pension any more than a DoE employee should be given one.
Lou Budvis on January 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I don’t understand your comment.
The federal civil service pension system is very specific in definition and how any person’s retirement is calculated.
http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/computation/
Same goes for actual military personnel – it’s very specific about percentage of final salary according to how many years you’ve spent on active duty.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

And fly-overs at public events should be forbidden. It’s an absolute waste.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Yeah, screw patriotism, and pride in our country.

/idiot

Ward Cleaver on January 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Your freedom to spout your anarchist BS – though I sometimes question the value of that.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Freedom of speech is an inalienable right that exists because we exist. It doesn’t exist because of government or government spending.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Go look up “dual use technology” sometimes. I’m guessing you have no clue how much technology you use on a daily basis originated from military and space programs – for instance – the intial technologies for creation of internet that you are currently using was developed in DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). So yes – you can thank the DoD engineers and scientists for a lot of what you have – in addition to your freedoms.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Read the link I provided above.

And no, DoD engineers and scientists, as well as the military at large, do not provide, and are not responsible for my freedoms

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Yeah, screw patriotism, and pride in our country.

Ward Cleaver on January 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Yeah, that’s a great raionale for taxation and wasting money, time, resources, etc.

So yeah, screw patriotism and pride. Or are you that shallow that you need big military hardware projecting might and force in order to feel those things?

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Freedom of speech is an inalienable right that exists because we exist. It doesn’t exist because of government or government spending.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Explain that to all the people around the world who exist – but do not have that inalienable right.
It only exists as long there is someone willing and able to defend it. Freedom of Speech does not exist in many other countries – and if those countries ever had the opportunity to attack a defenseless US – your freedom of speech would no longer exist.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

And no, DoD engineers and scientists, as well as the military at large, do not provide, and are not responsible for my freedoms

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

You’re a complete idiot if you really believe that.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I vaguely remember that the sequester was supposed to consist of equal cuts to defense and entitlements. Had the latter never occurred?

Neither have occurred. Sequestration was somehow pushed back a few months. And as I understand it, the non-defense cuts apply to all domestic spending, not just entitlements. And they aren’t actual cuts, but simple reductions in increases. The military cuts however are actual cuts.

That said, military could use trimming here and there. For one, we could perfectly do without European military bases.

Archivarix

Getting rid of bases in Europe will pretty much reduce nothing. You still have to feed, house, supply, train, pay, etc the troops no matter where they are. So unless you’re talking about closing those bases(many of which are paid for by the host country) and firing the people we have there, we’ll be sacrificing national security for a savings of pretty much nothing.

Understand, I’m not like Dumb-te. If we absolutely must stay in Korea, Japan, and Israel, so be it. But at a bare minimum the free ride has to end.

It’s not a free ride. We actually benefit from being the most powerful country in the world.

We are trillions in debt to the point we’ll never pay it back.

MelonCollie

Then it doesn’t even matter at this point, does it?

It is important that the GOP shows it is willing to reform the military just like it is entitlements.

William Eaton

Yes, by all means, let’s perpetuate the bogus democrat argument that entitlements are a constitutional requirement of government just like national security.

xblade on January 23, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Explain that to all the people around the world who exist – but do not have that inalienable right.
It only exists as long there is someone willing and able to defend it. Freedom of Speech does not exist in many other countries – and if those countries ever had the opportunity to attack a defenseless US – your freedom of speech would no longer exist.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

So you are ignorant of natural/inalienable rights and apparantly ignorant of the philosophies behind the U.S.’ founding. No, just because government infringes upon natural rights does not mean the right doesn’t exist. They are rights that man neither grants nor takes away.

Freedom of speech exists for everyone; it is not a right granted by man and government.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

You’re a complete idiot if you really believe that.

dentarthurdent on January 23, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Oh, look. Another government worshipper.

Dante on January 23, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Freedom of speech is an inalienable right that exists because we exist. It doesn’t exist because of government or government spending.

Dante

Tell that to the North Koreans.

Defense needs to be cut. The outlandish spending has to stop and we can make significant cuts without impairing the military’s effectiveness.

lexhamfox

How about we start by cutting the things government isn’t supposed to be spending on first for a change?

xblade on January 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

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