When it comes to Democrat administrations, you can count on them doing two things: raising taxes and gutting the military. Carter did it, Clinton did it, and now Obama is preparing to do it.
The New York Times thinks Obama isn’t going far enough (go figure) and should cut even more. The Wall Street Journal thinks the cuts go too far. Me? I’m inclined to fall somewhere in the middle on some items, but overall I think they go to far and sacrifice our defense in the name of pushing a socialist agenda.
The F-22 is expensive, but worth it. They should build several more until they at least get the newest plane (the Joint Strike Fighter) in production. The arguement from the left is that these planes don’t have an enemy, that they are so advanced that no other nation is capable of matching them. Well, that’s the idea. That’s why we build planes like this, for absolute air superiority. We don’t build planes like this, then sooner or later someone else will, and we’ll be behind.
The navy should not be allowed to fall below 12 carriers. This plan calls for them eventually falling to 10, and that’s only going to lead to longer deployments, less recruiting (who wants to stay out at sea for eight months or so?), and longer reaction times to a world crisis. The navy plans, or used to plan, for three carriers for every one patrol station: one actually on station, one in transit to or from the patrol station, and one ship in repair/refit. This will stretch our forces to the breaking point.
The DDX, I agree, should be terminated. They are way too expensive, there’s no real need for them (except perhaps a shore bombardament capability, but they may not fill that role properly), and their overall design is questionable. Far better to update the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke designs (or even the CG 47s) and continue to produce them. They’re a proven system.
Missile defense, both for homeland security and battlefield security, should remain a top priority. With nations like North Korea and Iran trying to build long range nukes it’s irresponsible not to do this. The left downplays the threat, that they would only be able to produce one or just a few such missiles. That may or may not be true, but it would only take one missile to end our way of life.
I could go on and on, but for the sake of brevity I’ll just say this: with a resurgent Russia, threats from rogue nations like North Korea and Iran, and a war on terrorism to fight — not to mention the numerous humanitarian missions of our forces perform when called — now is not the time to gut the military in this fashion. Yes, cuts can be made, and every program should be looked at under a microscope. But price tags should not be what determines what stays and what goes. That makes us vulnerable.
(Cross-posted at my blog, Liberty Pundit)