Col. Eric Rojo

The Baltimore Sun

Republicans and Democrats disagree about whether the economy is adding jobs today. But no one is publicly disputing that up to 1.5 million Americans will lose their jobs if Congress doesn’t stop the $500 billion in automatic defense cuts triggered by the debt ceiling law.

These unprecedented cuts would de-fund the next generation of war fighters, along with their support infrastructure, planes, ships and the technologies — built by highly skilled American engineers and manufacturers — that keep the U.S. and its troops safe.

The cuts follow close on the heels of hundreds of billions in defense cuts that have already canceled over 20 modernization programs, trimmed some of the Pentagon bureaucracy and cut into critical military capabilities. They would hack into the backbone of our defense, canceling nearly every new fighter jet, helicopter, bomber, combat ship and intelligence program. They would slash research and development funding that has generated countless technical and medical innovations.

We depend on past investments in next-generation war fighters, aircraft and intelligence satellites to win in the unconventional environment of the Middle East and to stay ahead of a resurgent Russia. Democrats and Republicans should join in bipartisan opposition to these devastating, blind and ill-timed defense cuts.