From retired Rear Adm. Joseph F. Callo, USNR, author of John Paul Jones: America’s First Sea Warrior
Regarding The Hill’s Sept. 20 article, “Obama defends Libya action, says US is ‘proud’ of its role”: The irony of our belated victory in Libya is that it may be one of the last times that American air power makes the decisive difference. If Congress pushes through the trillion-dollar cut in our defense budget, as proposed in the debt-ceiling deal, it will slash the funding for next-generation fighter aircraft to replace those worn out by 10 years of warfare.
It seems counterproductive to cut funding for the very tools that have helped beat back Moammar Gadhafi’s anti-democratic forces without a single U.S. casualty and were essential in providing intelligence that led Navy SEAL Team Six to Osama bin Laden. At just 16 percent of federal spending, it makes little sense to raid the Pentagon budget for deficit reduction. Reform elsewhere could produce more savings — entitlements, for instance, account for 40 percent of the federal budget, and that percentage is increasing rapidly.
By proposing deep cuts to advanced military technologies like unmanned drones, “anti-war” members of Congress will actually embolden our enemies and increase possibilities of war by weakening America’s dominant air power.
New York, NY