Return Of The Hollow Force


Chet Nagle, at the Daily Caller, has been doing his homework on what the administration and Congress have planned for our nation’s defense.  At a time when North Korea is stepping up its belligerence, terrorists keep trying to ignite everything from vehicles to their underwear within our borders, and our own CIA Director says that Iran is perhaps a couple of years away from developing nuclear weapons, the US will reduce its defense budget by over $1 trillion. 

Yes, you read that right.  Among the cuts anticipated is a 30% reduction in Marine Corps manpower, from 202,000 Marines down to 145,000.  This will result in a situation, according to Nagle, in which the US, “…will not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile shore.” 

Feeling safer yet?  It gets better.  Crafted by Barney Frank, the “Sustainable Defense Task Force” calls for a reduction of Navy aircraft carriers from 12 down to 8.  The Navy will also go from 14 ballistic missile submarines down to 6.  For its part, the Air Force will lose six fighter wing equivalents, and make do with 301 fewer F-35 fighters than are currently planned.  And to show that we really mean business, the Air Force’s nuclear bomber force will be eliminated.  Our B-1, B-2, and B-52 bombers will carry conventional munitions only.  As for missile defense, are you kidding?   But don’t think President Obama doesn’t support the troops.  He knows how tough multiple deployments can be.  So he also plans to reduce the Army’s size from 562,400 troops down to 360,000. 

George Will observed that we took a vacation from history after the cold war, but were jolted back to reality on 9/11.  Will the governing class ever learn that weakness invites aggression?  Is it this president’s mission to make Jimmy Carter look like Conan the Barbarian? 

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    outstripp: Someone remind me, what’s the definition of treason again? · Jun 29 at 10:58pm

    Finally a question that can be definitively answered with originalism: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

    I don’t think that shrinking the defense budget so that we spend the most of any country on earth by a somewhat lesser margin would qualify.

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  2. Profile Photo Inactive

    I attended a town hall meeting sponsored by America Speaks over the weekend. The keynote speaker was Alice Rivken former director of the CBO. One of the options being pushed right now is to achieve a balanced budget for next year by slashing spending and raising taxes to the tune of 1.2 trillion dollars. It comes as no surprise with progressives in power that our military budget will be slashed. There will be dark days ahead.

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  3. Profile Photo Member

    I briefly scanned through the report produced by this so-called “Sustainable Defense Task Force,” and fairly quickly came to the conclusion that it is indeed a path forward for a major drawdown in military capability, driven not by mission requirements and strategic trade-offs (of which there are many), but rather by dollars. I can stomach a reduction in defense spending (it’s already happening to some degree), but I’d much rather it be driven by an appropriate reassessment of military and alliance commitments, strategic interests and required capabilities – rather than “hey, let’s cut the Pentagon’s budget so that we can bail out Freddie and Fannie again.” The report continues the left’s insistance in measuring military capability in terms of the Cold War, talk of “efficiency” and “restraint” all the while cutting necessary R&D that helps keep our military the most modern and technologically advanced in the world.

    None of this is a surprise, and indeed, some programs should be re-evaluated on the basis of strategic need and priority according to the sanctioned military posture. If we only need 8 carriers, so be it – but base it on requirement, not $$.

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  4. Profile Photo Podcaster

    Conor, while I share your skepticism that the proposed cuts in defense rise to the level of treason, I would say that they will be a source of comfort to the enemy.  Whether or not we spent more on defense than any other country on earth meant exactly nothing to the 9/11 attackers who looked at our unwillingness to take the threat seriously and proceeded to slaughter 3,000 of our citizens on our own territory.  Could our enemies view the provocative weakness of unilateral disarmament with anything less than comfort?

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  5. Profile Photo Inactive

    I’m skeptical that anything so drastic could pass. Surely, some Democrats and most, if not all, Republicans will call for smaller, more covert cuts that their constituents are less likely to interpret as a weakened national defense. Republicans could hardly find a more certain way to invite Tea Party replacements in November than to so obviously and dramatically reduce America’s military protection.

    But I did suspect the moment there was talk of cutting “pork” in the defense budget that the cuts would include important resources and personnel. I don’t doubt that some big cuts are coming.

    If the reductions do prove as severe as Nagle suggests, the consequent opportunities for wickedness around the globe will not go unnoticed.

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  6. Profile Photo Inactive

    Anemic economy…check…anemic force projection…check…diplomatic irrelevance….check.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Inactive

    At least they are consistent. this govt. has been wrong on just about every answer to every significant question so far – would that they limit themselves to naming post offices.

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  8. Profile Photo Inactive

    Someone remind me, what’s the definition of treason again?

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  9. Profile Photo Inactive

    Even if we spend more on defense than any other country on earth, we also make more money than any other country on earth. To say we spend the most money is not to say we spend the greatest percentage of our GDP.

    One should also take into account that, simply by being the most powerful and influential nation in the world by far, we have far more enemies than most nations.

    We also have more economic and cultural ties than most nations. We’re a nation of immmigrants, afterall — immigrants who value their ancestral heritage and have relatives overseas.

    In other words, there are dozens of reasons why the United States should spend more on defense than most nations.

    I’m all for eliminating waste. But national defense is the first and most important function of any government. It is the means by which all other powers of our government and all freedoms of our people are secured. America needs an extraordinarily powerful military, and that requires extraordinary funding.

    Our nation’s financial troubles are due infinitely more to political corruption than to military boondoggles.

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  10. Profile Photo Member

    Well put, Aaron. I agree completely. I would only add that honor still matters, in that we have long-established security agreements throughout the world with a number of nations – all of which has a cost (that perhaps should be born increasingly by those host nations). Unless we choose to walk away from those security commitments, a strong, capable and modern military is essential and vital to our security interests.

    But the entitlements vs. defense spending dilemma is real. Something will have to give, and unfortunately, the politicians will take the easy way out – which only puts off the inevitable.

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  11. Profile Photo Member

    Our military is broke and I don’t mean just out of money. From those who want to tailor the military to this week’s threat to those who think that the just-in-time business model will answer our budget problems to those who have all of the facts, figures, and statistics to prove we shouldn’t trust our lying eyes in the face of observable fact, we continue to be our own worst enemies. We seem to be continuing an unfortunate tradition planning to lose the next war with the weapons and tactics that lost us our last war.

    Here’s some hints: Professional warriors can NOT be turned out over night, it takes months and years to train someone to become more than canon fodder. Weapons can NOT be procured over night, it’s taken almost 40 years of trying to replace our tanker fleet and we haven’t managed it yet; our newest fighter plane is so expensive the Air Force can only afford 183 to defend the entire nation.

    These folks can not seem to learn that the military is NOT a business. If anything, it’s insurance.

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  12. Profile Photo Inactive

    It’s deja vu all over again! When I went to Basic Training in the beginning of 1999, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) was so broke that we weren’t authorized any blank ammunition for training. I distinctly remember the disgust in my Drill Sergeant’s voice as he instructed us that we were on the honor system, and if we heard BANG BANG and other Soldiers said they shot us while conducting battle drills, we were to lay down and agree. It was sad then when we weren’t doing anything other than security in Albania, and it’s inexcusable now.

    • #12
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