Cuts put military in peril

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While the new National Security Agency facility at Fort Gordon is positive news (“National Security Agency opens Fort Gordon facility,” March 5), Georgia’s economy and America’s national security will face real peril next year from an automatic, across-the-board $600 billion cut in defense spending known as “sequestration.”

Unlike the $450 billion in strategically selected cuts announced by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, this wave will indiscriminately slash almost every Pentagon program by 23 percent; the sequestration scythe won’t take national security priorities into account.

Fighter-jet modernization and combat-ship replacement will be wiped out, as will crucial investments in military research and development – the innovations that keep our brave troops a step ahead of their adversaries. China, Iran and North Korea prioritize military R&D; if we take our foot off the gas, they’ll close the gap.

Defense sequestration would force 1.5 million Americans out of work, including an estimated 25,000 in Georgia. So while they “hollow out” our forces, in Secretary Panetta’s words, these huge cuts also would wreck our economic recovery. Congress can avoid this sorry outcome by forestalling sequestration in favor of rational decision-making about budget priorities.

E. G. “Buck” Shuler

Columbia, S.C.

(The writer is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general.)

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ultrarnr
928
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ultrarnr 03/08/12 - 11:58 pm
4
0
Do we really need 11 carrier
Unpublished

Do we really need 11 carrier battle groups and expensive toys such as the F35 fighter which is designed for an adversary we will probably never face. Let's be honest defense spending is bloated. I think we should reduce defense spenfind and put the money toward critical needs such as education, the crumbling infrastructure and making investments in our future not in bombs.

robaroo
792
Points
robaroo 03/09/12 - 12:03 am
2
1
No doubt about it -

No doubt about it - sequestration is a crummy way to run a government.

Unfortunately, Congress is broken. They are completely unable to balance the budget. No congressman is willing to cut spending or raise taxes.

The only way for the US to survive is to put the budget on autopilot. That gives Republicans and Democrats cover for not making hard choices.

burninater
9680
Points
burninater 03/09/12 - 12:06 am
3
0
Congress can avoid this sorry

Congress can avoid this sorry outcome by forestalling sequestration in favor of rational decision-making about budget priorities.
-----
I would like to make a similar statement to this one. Ahem.

I can fly to the black hole Cygnus X-1 by building an interstellar spacecraft powered by Cheez Whiz.

Simply by saying so, it is done.

And I didn't have to raise a single cent in revenue!

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 03/09/12 - 03:31 am
3
0
Seeing as how we outstrip our

Seeing as how we outstrip our closest competitor... China... nearly 6 TIMES in military spending, I don't think any cut will be all that drastic. That 600 billion dollars in cuts "Buck" refers to is projected and spread over the course of the next decade. An easy way to cut costs without touching R&D... Close military bases in other countries that want us out. That'll cut some animosity too, I'd wager.

Jon Lester
2363
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Jon Lester 03/09/12 - 01:12 pm
3
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Do we really need to be

Do we really need to be establishing new Islamic republics everywhere we go, and attacking wedding parties with drones? You don't have to be foreign to see why the world would be better off if American militarism were contained, and that there simply is no (external) existential threat to our "freedom."

Riverman1
86744
Points
Riverman1 03/09/12 - 01:17 pm
1
2
Jon Lester, can you give one

Jon Lester, can you give one example of America attacking wedding parties purposefully that were NOT Al Qaeda events?

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/09/12 - 02:07 pm
1
0
“Defense sequestration would

“Defense sequestration would force 1.5 million Americans out of work, including an estimated 25,000 in Georgia.”

How can that be true; Republican scripture says government spending can’t create jobs?

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 03/09/12 - 04:57 pm
0
0
I can't believe there is no

I can't believe there is no external threat to our freedom. I do believe Iran would not hesitate to put a nuclear weapon in the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah or any radical Islamic organization. With the thousands of cargo ships entering our ports and the ability to only inspect a small percentage of them, I feel there is a real threat. I don't see any reason to believe diplomacy will work. I am not saying war is the answer, but what if we are dragged into it? I don't know, maybe I'm in over my head.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/09/12 - 05:24 pm
0
0
david jennings: “I do

david jennings:

“I do believe Iran would not hesitate to put a nuclear weapon in the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah or any radical Islamic organization. With the thousands of cargo ships entering our ports and the ability to only inspect a small percentage of them, I feel there is a real threat.”

And how does the $600 billion/10 years reduction [which is only partially a reduction because it counts reductions in requested INCREASES as a reduction (it’s a special branch of math called “military math”)] subtract from our ability to mount a regime crushing retaliatory nuclear strike on Iran, which is what we would do and Iran knows it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wu1X6T5DThk

david jennings
624
Points
david jennings 03/09/12 - 09:26 pm
0
0
I am all for reduced spending

I am all for reduced spending all around. I am addressing the threat that many don't believe exists. As far as a retaliatory strike, the Iranian people might care but the Ayatollah and his followers would welcome the opportunity to currry favor with the Mahdi or what ever it is that will rise from the well and then join forces with Jesus to convert the world population to Islam.

cozzster
50
Points
cozzster 03/10/12 - 12:25 am
0
0
“Defense sequestration would
Unpublished

“Defense sequestration would force 1.5 million Americans out of work, including an estimated 25,000 in Georgia.”

Looks like GA will have to start doing something for itself...

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