Monday, November 21, 2011
It’s not just “Pentagon bureaucrats” warning that more cuts to defense will devastate our military. Experts left, right and center have been sounding the alarm for months.
Top Republicans and Democrats on the Congressional Armed Services committees warn that these cuts would gut the airpower, sea platforms and satellite surveillance we need to quickly deploy overwhelming force around the globe. CIA Director David Petraeus and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both say that the cuts go too far.
If this was just Pentagon “good bureaucrats … trying to protect their rice bowls,” as longtime-liberal antagonist Lawrence Korb accuses, why would these respected leaders weigh in so strongly?
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says these cuts would mean the smallest Army, Navy and Air Force in generations, vast layoffs at DOD, elimination of the ICBM leg of nuclear deterrence and the end of “most” military modernization programs. They would also put a million Americans out of work, driving us back into recession. All to bring a down a defense budget that’s at historic lows — just 16 percent of federal spending, down from 40 percent after Vietnam.
As tyrants such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea’s Kim Jong Il go nuclear, and modern technology brings more and greater threats to our doorstep, this is no time to gamble with our security.
Lt Gen. William Boykin (Ret.), U.S. Army