Obama Budget Failures Undermine National Security

Obama Budget Failures Undermine National Security

When John Bolton expressed his concern over Obama’s budgeting priorities, it wasn’t merely partisan rhetoric. There are very real examples of how Obama’s mindset undermines national security while bloating the welfare state, similar to what Europe has been doing for decades. Our Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force will all experience real cuts in both manpower and capability.

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton told The Daily Caller that President Obama’s cuts to the defense budget are an attempt to put more taxpayer funds into social welfare programs, labeling the move “exactly” what the Europeans have done. Bolton said Obama’s actions caused “bloated social welfare states” when they were attempted in Europe.

Here’s a classic example of how Obama’s policy decisions can be tied directly to national security, and there are others. Of course we should disperse our nation’s carriers; that’s common sense. If something disastrous were to happen, the reason their East Coast facilities were still so closely grouped all these years after 9-11 would likely be viewed as a scandal. But by then, there will be little left to do besides partisan finger-pointing, while some military planner somewhere would likely be blamed.

RICHMOND, Va. — The Navy’s plans to move an aircraft carrier from Virginia to Florida are on hold for at least five years, but the two states will likely see a shuffling of some other military ships.

Defense officials have said that having all five East Coast-based aircraft carriers based in one place, Norfolk, is a national security concern because of the possibility of a natural disaster or manmade calamity, but they have acknowledged the budget strains for relocating the carrier to Florida. Aircraft carriers on the West Coast are home-ported at three bases.

Even Obama’s own Defense Secretary understands the issue, yet Obama remains committed to spending on social welfare programs akin to political patronage payouts, making individuals dependent on government in whatever way he can manage to subsidize it – for now.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the automatic $500 billion in cuts or “sequester” over the next 10 years, supported by the White House, would cause “untold damage” to America’s national security. Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, the cuts will go into effect since the congressional super committee did not reach a deficit reduction agreement.

Unfortunately, one only has to look to Europe to see the horrendous consequences of the liberal mindset. As compared to the U.S., their defense capabilities are modest, at best, while their social programs threaten to bankrupt nation after nation in what would be a catastrophic series of collapses the day any final bill became due. They’re already experience downgrades, a warning sign of things to come.

The Joint Chiefs are weighing in to support Panetta. But language that doesn’t speak directly to the impact of actual cuts is most often dismissed as mere partisan bickering by the time it hits the news channels, assuming it even does on any given evening.

Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey echoed Panetta’s concerns, saying the automatic cuts would hit troop numbers and weapons systems.

Panetta addressed the concerns in greater detail in a letter to Congress. The claim will likely be made that it doesn’t matter, as we are significantly reducing, or eliminating personnel and equipment needs directly related to Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, that doesn’t tell the entire story or point out that, after investing to re-invigorate our military after previous cuts from liberal administrations, once gone, America’s military capabilities can not simply be re-built overnight in the event of some potentially serious need.

In FY 2013, the reduction in defense spending under maximum sequestration would amount to 23 percent if the President exercised his authority to exempt military personnel. A cut of this magnitude would be devastating in itself, but it gets worse. Under current law, that 23 percent reduction would have to be applied equally to each major investment and construction program. Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable – you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building and seriously damage other modernization efforts. We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily and, because the reduction would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target. These changes would break faith with those who maintain our military and seriously damage readiness.

The situation does not get better beyond FY 2013. In this period, cuts to the DoD budget under maximum sequestration would equal about $100 billion a year compared with the FY 2012 plan. Facing such large reductions, we would have to reduce the size of the military sharply. Rough estimates suggest after ten years of these cuts, we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history.

We would also be forced to terminate most large procurement programs in order to accommodate modernization reductions that are likely to be required.

While wartime funding in the Overseas Contingency Operations accounts is not directly affected by the sequester, war efforts would be adversely affected by the severe disruption in the base budgets.