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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2011

Defense Isn’t a Luxury

Defense spending isn’t a boondoggle—like, say, farm subsidies—that can be cut without harm to the nation. Yet the debt-ceiling deal treats defense just that way: A Congressional Joint Commission is supposed to find $1.5 trillion of the $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. If that commission comes up short, then equal cuts to defense and nondefense discretionary spending kick in. Kim Holmes:

These cuts will only worsen the already looming problem of declining military readiness. Over the past year, a full half of the Navy fleet was either underway daily or engaged, which has reduced the fleet’s quality and condition. The Air Force, which has been involved in combat operations for 20 years, has seen aircraft tragically fall out of the sky, likely because of wear and tear. …

To meet the military spending cuts of the debt deal, at least one and possibly two Navy carrier strike groups will disappear. A large part of the U.S. missile defense program will have to be scaled back, exposing millions of Americans unnecessarily to nuclear attack. Overseas bases will have to be shut down, meaning that it will be far more expensive and take far longer to move U.S. forces where they need to be in the future—assuming they can even get there at all.

There will be only enough armed forces to fight at best one military operation overseas (historically we have been able to fight two or even more).

Eliminating defense spending completely would not change the long-term problem:

To read: The Debt Deal and the Threat to America’s National Security, by John Bolton, Fox News; A Dangerous Debt Ceiling Deal, by Kim Holmes, The Heritage Foundation; Warning: Hollow Force Ahead, by the Defending Defense Project, American Enterprise Institute, Foreign Policy Initiative, and The Heritage Foundation.

Posted on 08/04/11 08:14 PM by Alex Adrianson

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