Rear Admiral James J. Carey (Ret.) USN
The Journal News

Re “Work together for recovery,” Jan. 24 editorial: Your above editorial on the economy neglected to mention the shadow of automatic budget cuts scheduled for next year — particularly when it comes to defense. By closing its eyes and blindly cutting the U.S. defense budget, Congress is playing a dangerous game with national security and the economy.

Our defense budget already faces $450 billion in cuts over the next decade. Unless Congress reverses its course, our military will absorb another $600 billion in automatic across-the-board cuts in 2013 because of the failure of last year’s Congressional Supercommittee to come up with a budget deal.

From missile defense and aerial drones to surveillance gear and body armor, vital programs that effectively protect our troops and our homeland will see their budgets slashed.

Blind cuts would also decimate investments in defense research and development and modernization, a notion that turns common sense on its head. Such spending accounts for only 2 percent of the federal budget, and has historically kept us ahead of our adversaries while generating innovations that boost economic growth and make our lives better — including fiberglass, cell phones and contact lenses.

Budget discipline makes sense, but blindly slashing cost-effective investment is counterproductive.