Automatic defense cuts scheduled to begin in January may be higher than expected. The predicted adjustments may be 15 rather than the anticipated 10%. Will our Armed Forces remain strong enough to protect us?
(AP June 7, 2012) Members of the Bipartisan Policy Center painted a dire picture for the nation’s economy, the military and large and small defense contractors if the automatic reductions occur on Jan. 2, 2013. Based on a special task force’s calculations, the group said the cuts would mean an indiscriminate, across-the-board 15 percent reduction in programs and activities within the military, not the 10 percent that had been estimated.
The gross domestic product also would be reduced by roughly half a percentage point, a blow to a struggling economy. About 1 million defense and non-defense jobs would be lost over two years, causing a spike in unemployment.
Are we going to cut so deep that we lose our strength? Will the drastic changes cause our military, those who fight so we don’t have to, to lose those with the most experience? Is this world safe enough for our Army numbers to be thinned to pre-World War II enrollment?
(ArmyTimes June 7, 2012) That the Army must cut 80,000 soldiers is no secret. But the service now stares down a double-barrel disaster that could decimate the service as you know it — and Congress is squeezing both triggers.
A budget bullet is loaded in the first barrel. The Army wants to use attrition to weed out unwanted soldiers and keep the best and brightest. But thousands of quality soldiers will be forced out unless Congress reloads and agrees to cover the cost.
The other barrel is far more deadly. It holds an Army-piercing round called sequestration, which would eliminate an additional 100,000 soldiers and virtually halt all modernization. That round would be fired Jan. 3, and would cut the Army to pre-World War II numbers.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has described these cuts as “catastrophic,” “inflicting severe damage to our national defense for generations,” and “shooting ourselves in the head.”
Not only will the military feel direct impact of the cuts but defense contractors such as Boeing have already been forced to make changes and are looking at further drastic cuts to their forces. Our unemployment is still over 8% will these additional contractor cuts raise it even higher?
(DefenseNews June 1, 2012) Another round of dramatic U.S. defense budget cuts will be “devastating” to the arms industry and will force thousands of people out of their jobs, American corporate giant Boeing warned June 1.
Boeing’s defense business has already seen its workforce slashed by around 8,000 people to 61,000 over the past two years as a result of a $500 billion U.S. defense budget cut currently being implemented.
However, there is also the potential for automatic defense spending cuts, called sequestration, totaling another $500 billion over 10 years from 2013 if the U.S. Congress does not reach a deal on slashing the country’s deficit.
In the efforts to save money soldiers must follow the new rules of engagement which include, “even if under fire, they cannot shoot back if the hadji is more than 30 feet away.” Why? Because they might waste bullets. In Iraq soldiers were given all the ammunition they needed. Now they are issued and it is counted out per man. You run out too bad. Save one for yourself.
So what is the solution? It appears Congress is not willing to do much so it will be up to us. Democrats tell us that proposed legislation to prevent all the cuts in Defense are a “non-starter” for conversation.
One option is to vote in a new administration.
(Washington Examiner May 17, 2012) Romney said such cuts would substantially weaken the nation’s defenses and leave the United States vulnerable to future threats. He pledged to nearly double naval shipbuilding.
“America must have a military so strong no one would ever think of testing it,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday. “So rather than cut back on the number of ships we buy per year as the president would … I’d go from the nine we’re planning on building to 17 a year.”
Romney has also promised to increase the Air Force and add about 100,000 active-duty personnel.
After all, don’t we want, no, need to be Army Strong???