Rear Adm. James Carey
San Diego Union Tribune

With a trillion dollars in defense cuts already written into law, it’s hard to see how the Navy can promise much of anything, let alone a new carrier for North Island Naval Air Station (“Navy confirms 3rd carrier for SD Bay by 2016,”, Jan. 23). Like a struggling parent promising there’ll be money for college, the Navy’s intentions are surely good, but that’s not always enough.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta already told Congress the cuts would shrink the fleet below 230 vessels, the smallest in one hundred years. The new multiservice fighter jet, the long-range bomber, ground vehicles, the littoral combat ship – all terminated, according to the Defense Department. Advanced research and development would be gutted, allowing enemies to close the gap in areas like drones, intelligence and surveillance.

As we cut, China invests, introducing the fifth-generation Chengdu stealth fighter, launching new satellites at a record clip and conducting sea trials on a new carrier of its own. North Korea’s nukes are now held by an erratic 28-year-old, the world’s deadliest weapons in the hands of an insecure leader with a lot to prove.

The danger is obvious and experts in both parties have been sounding the alarm for months. But only Congress can fix it, by rising above other differences and uniting on our national defense.