WASHINGTON – President Obama and his advisers are raising the danger to America and its allies by proposing significant reductions in the spending for the nation’s military, according to security analysts and advocates who are raising alarms over the plans.
The cuts are just “Team Obama hollowing out the U.S. military,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.
The reductions proposed by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates ultimately could damage the U.S. power projection around the globe and hinder its ability to fight future wars, he said.
“If they have their way, the armed forces will be ever-less-capable of projecting power and the nation and its allies left increasingly open to blackmail, if not actual attack,” Gaffney warned.
The Center for Security Policy works on issues shared with a number of the major defense contractors that would be directly affected by the proposed cuts.
“The Obama administration seems to be most interested in cutting defense systems that are essential to projecting power, today and tomorrow,” Gaffney told WND.
“It has cut funding for or otherwise undermined the world’s best air-superiority fighter, the F-22; C-17 transporters; a competitive second source for engines to keep costs down for the F-35 fighter; missile defenses, the size of the Navy’s shipbuilding program, artillery modernization and our nuclear deterrent,” he said.
“The history of similar cuts in the past – notably, the Carter administration’s ‘hollowing out’ of the U.S. military and the Clinton administration’s effort to balance the budget at the expense of defense modernization and the Pentagon more generally – is predictable,” Gaffney added. “The world will become a more dangerous place for us and for freedom-loving people elsewhere.”
Gaffney was responding to what he termed a “Black Saturday” speech by Gates in which the defense secretary laid out the basis for military cuts over the weekend at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kan., to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.
In his speech, Gates called for “two to three percent reduction a year – or up to $15 billion a year” – in overhead costs in the defense budget as “the only way” the military can afford its planned force structure “with the top line we have been given.”
Gates also called for streamlining of the Pentagon bureaucracy, including top-level generals and admirals. He said such overhead amounts to 40 percent of the department’s budget.
Gates said that the nation still is at war and some growth must be maintained to fight those battles. To maintain the brigades, regiments, wings and ships, he added, will require real growth in the defense budget ranging from two to three percent above inflation.
He also called for change in the way the department approaches requirements.
Before making claims of requirements for ships, tactical fighters or personnel, Gates said there needs to be an evaluation of the criteria upon which requirements are based in “the wider real world context.”
Gates conceded that the terrorist attack on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001, “opened a gusher” of defense spending that almost doubled the budget over the past decade.
“Given America’s difficult economic circumstances and perilous fiscal condition, military spending on things large and small can and should expect closer, harsher scrutiny. The gusher has been turned off, and will stay off for a good period of time,” Gates said.
Gaffney said these proposed cuts, which he calls “the Obama Doctrine, embolden our enemies, undermine our allies and diminish our country.”
Along with his Center for Security Policy, Gaffney said that other national security organizations have developed a 10-point “platform of principles” that outline a “peace through strength” program to meet “growing threats to freedom and the U.S. Constitution, America’s exceptional role, and indeed our country’s very existence.”
Gaffney added that such challenges require a “robust, comprehensive national security posture” to meet current and future threats. Those principles include:
- Renewed adherence to “peace through strength,” a national security policy outlined by President Ronald Reagan.
- A “robust” defense posture that insures an effective nuclear deterrent, development of a missile defense system and protection against such unconventional forms of warfare as biological, electro-magnetic pulse and cyber attacks.
- Preservation of U.S. sovereignty against international treaties, judicial rulings and other measures that diminish the U.S. Constitution and representative form of government.
- A nation “free of Shariah” which “Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Islamic states and terrorists are fighting to impose worldwide.”
- Protection from unlawful enemy combatants, in which those who employ terrorism are not entitled to U.S. constitutional guarantees in U.S. civilian courts. “Those captured overseas should be incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay, which should remain open, or in other prisons outside the United States,” Gaffney said.
- Energy security.
- Border security against penetration by terrorists, narco-traffickers. Illegal immigrants should not be “rewarded” with U.S. citizenship.
- Preservation of the all-volunteer force and policies and laws that would strengthen recruiting, retention and readiness.
- A foreign policy that supports U.S. allies and “opposes our adversaries. It should be clearly preferable to be a friend of the United States, not its enemy,” Gaffney said.
- Pursue judicial and educational institutions that uphold constitutional responsibility of elected officials to make policy for the U.S. military.
In addition to the Center for Security Policy, other defense organizations signing onto the platform of principles are: Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Center for Military Readiness, The Claremont Institute, the Hudson Institute, Foundation for the Defense of Democracy and the American Foreign Policy Council.
A report published in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin a day ago had cited the plan to cut spending for the U.S. Navy as a potentially significant impact on America’s future.