Tag Archives: Robert Gates

Rebuttal of Robert Gates and his BS book

Eagle- America Deserves Better

Today,  a book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates will hit the stores. Already some parts of it have been released to the media, which, depending on their political preferences, have focused on the parts favorable or unfavorable to Obama and the Democrats.

But equally (if not more) important is Robert Gates’ disastrous tenure as Defense Secretary under both Presidents Bush and Obama, which, even before Obama’s arrival at the White House, began to sow the seeds of America’s military and thus geopolitical decline.

Crucial Platforms Killed On False Pretexts

Gates calls himself “a Defense Secretary at War”, even though he has never seen one day of combat, has never been deployed to a war zone, and spent his entire “career in the national security arena” as a bureaucrat in Washington, DC. Most of his book is about how he ran the disastrous and useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I’ll get to that later.

But first, let me tell you how Gates tried to pay for these utterly useless wars that he was singularly obsessed with: by killing the very weapons systems America needs now and will need in the future to deter and if necessary defeat China, Russia, Iran, and other potential aggressors.

Based on his singular obssession with Afghanistan and Iraq, his myopic shortsightedness, and his naive view of China and Russia, Gates killed over 50 crucial weapon programs based on the most idiotic of pretexts.

For example, he stopped the production of the F-22 fighter – the best jet fighter ever built – at a mere 187 copies, whereas the USAF had long said that at least 337 would be needed to maintain US air superiority and defeat advanced Russian and Chinese fighters, and despite clear evidence from experts such as those at the Air Force Association and Air Power Australia that ONLY the F-22 Raptor could meet that requirement.

Gates thus participated in the smear propaganda against the F-22, fired Air Force Secretary Mike Wynne and Chief of Staff T. Michael Moseley (who advocated continuing its production), forced other Air Force F-22 advocates to retire, and advised Obama to veto any defense bill containing funding for F-22 production – a veto threat that sufficed to scare Congress into deleting that funding after it had already been authorized by the House Armed Services Committee, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, and the full House.

Gates also refused to buy the F-15 Silent Eagle – the newest version of the venerable and combat-proven F-15 Eagle equipped with the newest radar and IRST system, conformal (internal) weapon bays, and stealthy from the front. He put all of America’s airpower eggs into one basket – the utterly failed F-35 program – and killed virtually every alternative to it.

That decision has proven itself to be the most idiotic any defense secretary has ever made, for the F-35 is so well-known for its cost-overruns, delays, bugs, and giant weaknesses that there wouldn’t be enough space even in a dedicated article to list them all, or even to list all references to sources narrating them.

But those cost overruns, delays, bugs, and weaknesses were already well-known in 2009, when Gates killed the F-22 Raptor. Since then, of course, the F-35 Junk Strike Fighter program’s performance has dramatically deteriorated further: the cost overruns and delays have mounted, critical systems have been deleted from the F-35 to reduce cost, and allies are now balking at buying it and looking for alternatives. Which competitors like Dassault, EADS, Saab, and others are all too happy to provide.

(What is the difference between the F-22 and the F-35? The former was designed from the start to do one thing: achieve absolute air superiority. To that end, it is has a tiny radar signature to evade radar detection, is very fast and high-flying, is very agile and maneuverable, has the most powerful fighter radar in the world, and can carry 8 missiles in its stealthy mode – or 12 when enemy air defenses are down. By contrast, the F-35 is not truly stealthy, can carry only 4 missiles, is slow and low-flying, and is so heavy and unmaneuverable that jets from the 1960s could easily defeat it. It is useful neither for air to air nor air to ground combat. It’s not capable or survivable enough for high-tech environments, and is too expensive and overbuilt for counter-insurgency operations.)

The F-22 was but one of the many crucial weapon systems Bob Gates killed, thus leaving the US military unprepared for the current military competition with China and Russia. He killed the stealthy Zumwalt class of destroyers at just 3 ships, supposedly on cost grounds, but ignoring the fact that it was precisely the reduction of planned orders from 32 to 3 ships that caused the price to spike – because economies of scale were lost. He killed the AC-X gunship, a badly-needed replacement for the USAF’s Vietnam-era AC-130 gunships, and the EP-X electronic intelligence plane, a sorely needed replacement for the EP-3. He terminated C-17 production at 221 aircraft, claiming the USAF had ordered enough of these, when the USAF was actually so short on airlifters it had to rent Russian aircraft – at higher prices than what it would pay for BUYING more C-17s.

Most worryingly of all, Gates terminated the Multiple Kill Vehicle, Kinetic Energy Interceptor, and Airborne Laser programs in 2009. The MKV would’ve been a kinetic metal “warhead” designed to shoot down enemy missiles. It was to be kind of a defensive MIRV bus which would’ve released dozens of small “kill vehicles” that would’ve shot down lots of enemy ballistic missiles all at once. (Currently, a single kill vehicle from a single interceptor can kill only one enemy missile.) This would’ve solved the target discrimination problem missile defense critics often complain about – which among the missiles or warheads are real ones and which ones are duds would’ve been irrelevant, because ALL of them would be shot down.

The KEI and the Airborne Laser, for their part, would’ve enabled the US to shoot down enemy missiles in the earliest phase of their flight, when their countermeasures have NOT been deployed yet and their deadly payloads have not yet been released. In other words, when enemy missiles are the most vulnerable. This would’ve come in handy when countering any missiles, especially the hypersonic, high-speed global range missile recently tested by China (as reported by Bill Gertz in the WFB).

But America no longer has that option – because Secretary Gates terminated both of these programs in 2009, even though the ABL program, despite its infancy, was progressing well, having passed 3 out of its 5 tests before being terminated.

So when you read Bill Gertz’s articles in the WFB, the Washington Times, on Fox News, or elsewhere about China’s global range hypersonic missiles, remember America does NOT have defenses capable of stopping those missiles, and that is thanks to Obama and Gates.

Russian and Chinese threats on the horizon

But China’s development as a huge threat to US and allied security, and as a contender to replace the US as the world’s top military power, is nothing new. It was already evident during Gates’ tenure as SECDEF.

Already during Gates’ time, there already was strong evidence that China was closing most gaps with the US military and working to create its own unique advantages. There already was solid evidence China was working to overtake the US militarily and would achieve that objective absent US efforts to maintain an edge over Beijing. Yet, Gates harbored a desire to appease Beijing as well as to drive America deeper into useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So he ignored all that evidence, surpressed the truth and professional advice, lied to the American public, appeased Beijing with word and deed, and killed the very programs needed to counter the People’s Republic’s military buildup.

By 2009, China already had more attack submarines, and almost as many subs in total, as the US – and was steadily replacing old ones with new, ultra-quiet ones. It already had a large nuclear arsenal. It already had two stealth fighters under development. It already had almost as many ships in total as the US Navy, had deployed a dense and modern air defense network, already wielded thousands of missiles capable of targeting all US bases in the Western Pacific, already possessed anti-satellite kinetic and laser weapons, and already had hundreds of advanced fighter aircraft.

Russia was also busy building up its military, increasing its nuclear arsenal, and developing new, cutting edge weapons.

In 2010, Russia’s first stealth fighter, the PAK FA, first flew. This aircraft, when it enters service, will render EVERY fighter in the world except the F-22 Raptor impotent, irrelevant, obsolete, and useless. It will essentially be Russia’s response to the Raptor.

In January 2011, China’s first stealth fighter, the J-20, took to the air – at exactly the time Gates was visiting China. The Gates Pentagon was caught completely by surprise by this development, even though those of us who were clear-eyed about the Chinese threat had been warning for years that the J-20 (J-XX) would soon perform its maiden flight.

At the same time, China and Russia were also protecting America’s enemies North Korea and Iran and shielding them from any consequences of their provocations and illegal nuclear programs.

Also, advanced Chinese and Russian weapons, including the forementioned fighters, will be available to anyone able to pay for them.

But whenever someone dared to call on the US to prepare itself for possible confrontations with China, Gates derided that person as ill with “next-war-itis”, and he ordered the DOD to limit itself to fighting useless “counter-insurgency” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under Gates, tens of billions of dollars were thrown away buying mine-resistant vehicles and nonstealthy, short-ranged, poorly armed drones like the Predator and the Reaper – which are useful only for fighting terrorists, but utterly useless against any nation state wielding any advanced weaponry.

Now that the Iraq war is long over, and the Afghan war is coming to an end, all those mine-resistant (MRAP) vehicles and drones will have to be sold to allies, stored, or scrapped.

Thanks to Gates, who stubbornly advocated staying in Afghanistan and Iraq almost indefinitely and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at them, the US is now dramatically worse off: well over a trillion dollars has been spent fighting those wars, billions more will be spent on caring for veterans of these wars, and over 5,400 brave US troops have died for no good reason.

While Gates attempts to portray himself as a man who stood by military uniformed leaders during crisis times, his tenure in the Pentagon was actually marked by an unrestrained use of political power to surpress the truth and professional military advice in order to fund Gates’ pet projects like the F-35, MRAP vehicles, drones, and, of course, the useless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Enabling Obama’s unilateral disarmament of the US

As Defense Secretary, Gates has greatly helped Obama gut the US military – and not just through the program killings listed above, but also through his advocacy of arms control agreements that obligate only the US to disarm itself.

Gates supported the treasonous New START treaty, which obligates the US (but not Russia) to cut its deployed strategic nuclear arsenal to just 1,550 warheads and 700 deployed delivery systems – and Obama envisions even more cuts, down to just 1,000 warheads. That will necessitate, among other things, cutting at least 30 ICBMs. Gates lied to the Congress that the treaty would’ve allowed the US to maintain a sufficient nuclear arsenal and, ridiculously, claimed it would “protect” US nuclear modernization programs, which it actually threatens. He and Hillary Clinton also lied to the Congress that the treaty does not constrain US missile defenses, which it actually does.

Gates also supported the Law of the Sea Treaty, which the Reagan Administration rightly rejected and which would’ve cost America its sovereignty, subordinating it to the corrupt UN and its kangaroo maritime dispute courts, and would’ve cost US taxpayers billions of dollars in new contributions to the wasteful, corrupt UN.

Final verdict: an Obama yes-boy and a traitor

Therefore, based on the above facts about Gates’ tenure as SECDEF, an honest person cannot assess him as anything else as an Obama yes-boy, a traitor, and an utter failure as Defense Secretary. No honest person, and especially no Republican, should give him credit for anything – he does not deserve it. Gates deserves, in fact, to be tried, convicted, and executed as a traitor.

Help STOP Obama’s unilateral nuclear disarmament of the US



As everyone should know by now, Barack Obama intends to disarm the United States unilaterally and has already taken substantial steps in that direction. He has signed, and rammed through the Senate (in the twilight days of the 111th Congress) the New START treaty requiring unilateral cuts in America’s deployed nuclear arsenal and the fleet of delivery systems, while allowing Russia to grow its own arsenals of these. He has unilaterally withdrawn nuclear-tipped cruise missiles from US Navy ships and submarines – without Russia or anyone else reciprocating. He has banned the development of any new nuclear weapons, or even upgrades to current ones, cut funding for the service life extension of existing ones, and cancelled plans to develop a new ICBM. He has prohibited current USAF ICBMs to carry more than 1 warhead each, while both Russia and China have multiple-warhead ICBMs.

Obama deceptively claims that he wants to create a “world without nuclear weapons” (a fantasy that will never exist), and he has repeteadly repeated that claim. But let’s put aside for the moment even the fact that there will never be a world without nuclear weapons because these weapons are so powerful and so attractive (and what is powerful is automatically attractive), and the fact that NO ONE is following him on his imaginary road to “nuclear zero.” He couldn’t care less.

The goal of “a world without nuclear weapons” isn’t just “distant”; it’s utterly unrealistic and ridiculous.

The world is not “moving towards nuclear zero”; it isn’t even on the beginning of the road to nuclear zero, and never will be. The world (other than Obama’s America) is going in the EXACTLY OPPOSITE direction: more nuclear weapons and more nuclear-armed states.

Obama’s legacy will not be “a world without nuclear weapons”, or even a planet going in that direction. Obama’s legacy will be a planet going in the exactly opposite direction, and quite possibly, a nuclear-armed Iran.

Obama also deceptively claims that his unilateral cuts will enhance “nuclear security” and strategic stability and stem nuclear proliferation.

But cutting America’s nuclear deterrent – especially unilaterally – will only UNDERMINE security and stability by weakening America’s deterrent while Russia’s and China’s arsenals remain large and modern (and keep growing), and ENCOURAGE nuclear proliferation by both friend and foe – allies will no longer trust America’s nuclear umbrella and will develop their own arsenals, while enemies like Iran will only be emboldened to develop nuclear arsenals – since America’s deterrent will be smaller, weaker, and thus easier to destroy in a first strike. Fewer nuclear weapons equal fewer consequences of attacking the US or its allies.

Make no mistake: Obama’s unilateral disarmament of the US has nothing to do with “global zero”, and everything to do with simply disarming the US unilaterally and making it easier for America’s enemies to attack the US.

As a part of that unilateral disarmament, the Obama administration is now seriously considering, and will likely decide to, eliminate an entire Air Force ICBM wing – 150 missiles! It is not known which wing will it be – the one based at Minot AFB, ND, at Malmstrom AFB, MT, or at Francis E. Warren AFB. But they are now conducting an Environmental Impact Statement, the first step in the process.

The Obama administration deceptively and falsely claims it’s just an “implementation of the New START treaty.” But that is completely false. New START does not require cutting an entire ICBM wing with 150 missiles, or any further deep cuts on this scale.

Make no mistake: Obama is planning to make further deep unilateral cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent over and above those required by New START. That treaty, however damaging it is by itself to US national security, has nothing to do with the planned elimination of 150 ICBMs.

How do we know? Because in 2010, shortly before New START was ratified, then Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed what the force structure would be under New START limits: 420 ICBMs, 58 nuclear-armed B-52s, 20 B-2s, and 14 or fewer ballistic missile submarines with 20 or fewer missile tubes per boat.

Currently, the US has 450 ICBMs. Under the treaty, the remaining 30 ICBMs were to be decommissioned and put in storage, but not dismantled.

So under New START, America was required to cut its ICBM fleet by only 30 missiles – not 150, which is five times that much!

And contrary to the claims of pro-disarmament organizations, such cuts would save very little: only about $360 mn per year even according to ACA estimates. So eliminating 150 ICBMs would save close to nothing while deeply and unilaterally cutting the cheapest, most reliable, and most responsive leg of the nuclear triad, which has readiness levels of around 96-99% at any time.

But it gets worse. While Obama has been unilaterally cutting America’s nuclear deterrent, and plans to continue doing so, Russia and China have been building their arsenals up.

Russia is building up its nuclear arsenal – and the arsenal of delivery system – and has been doing so since New START’s ratification in early 2011. Before that treaty was ratified, Russia was below its ceilings of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 delivery systems per side.

But since then, Russia has built up to New START levels, as State Department data exchanges show – and as was precisely Russia’s goal and was promised by Russian leaders, including then-Defense Minister Anatoliy Syerdyukov, who correctly told Russia’s parliament that Moscow wouldn’t have to decommission a single warhead or delivery system.

Russia, as veteran journalist Bill Gertz writes in more detail, is in the midst of a massive nuclear (and conventional) military buildup. It is currently growing its arsenal of both warheads and delivery systems. It’s currently developing several different ICBM types: a road-mobile “Yars-M” ICBM, a rail-mobile one, a heavy liquid-fueled ICBM called “the Son of Satan” (slated to replace the famous SS-18 Satan), the “Avangard”, a “pseudo-ICBM” with a 6,000 km range (in violation of the INF Treaty), and another ICBM mentioned recently by Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin (it might be one of those previously mentioned ICBMs).

Concurrently, Russia is developing a next-generation strategic bomber, a next-gen cruise missile for its bombers (the Kh-102) and for its submarines (the Koliber[1]), and deploying a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class) with a new type of sub-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava, or SS-NX-30 in NATO nomenclature, with 10 warheads). It is also modernizing its already large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (artillery pieces, Su-34 tactical strike jets, SS-26 Stone SRBMs, etc.) and growing its fleet of Tu-160 bombers with production from stockpiled parts.

Also, Russia’s current-generation Bulava and Liner submarine-launched ballistic missiles can carry far more warheads (10 and 12, respectively) than previous generations of Russian SLBMs, such as the Sinyeva (R-29M). So Russia will be able to, and will, load more warheads on each of those new SLBMs.

Overall, Russia’s strategic nuclear triad currently has:

a) 434 ICBMs, all but 171 of which can deliver multiple warheads;

b) 14 ballistic missile subs with 16-20 intercontinental missiles each (and each can carry up to 12 warheads, depending on missile type); and

c) 251 intercontinental bombers (Tu-95s, Tu-160s, and Tu-22Ms).

Overall, Russia is estimated by the Federation of American Scientists to have 2,800 strategic nuclear warheads – deployed and nondeployed. Keep in mind that all of the above numbers – of missiles, bombers, and warheads – will only grow over time, and with them, the nuclear threat to America and its allies, and thus, the need for an American nuclear deterrent.

Moscow is not only growing its arsenal but also becoming more aggressive as well. In the last 12 months, Russia has practiced simulated nuclear bomber strikes on US missile defense facilities five times, each time flying dangerously close to US or allied airspace, and three times flying into Air Defense Identification Zones – forcing US or allied fighters to scramble. For more, see here and here.

“Who told you that the Cold War was ever over? It transforms; it is like a virus,” said Russian KGB/FSB defector Sergei Tretyakov in an interview with FOX News in 2009.

And yet, Obama wants to disarm America unilaterally in the face of such an aggressive Russia wielding thousands of nuclear weapons!

In addition, Russia is blatantly violating the INF Treaty by developing and testing an IRBM, and also violating the CFE Treaty! How can we trust Russia to comply with New START and reciprocate the newest cuts proposed by Obama when Russia is not complying with existing arms reduction treaties? We can’t!

How can the US sign any deals with Moscow, and believe anything the Kremlin says, when it doesn’t comply with its existing treaty obligations?

In addition, Russia is developing missile defenses – the same kind of defensive stuff which Russia doesn’t want the US to deploy – which would help Russia mop up the few remaining US missiles that might survive a Russian nuclear first strike.

China has a far larger nuclear arsenal than the Obama administration admits – at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, and enough delivery systems to deliver at least 1,274… without even counting its SRBMs or ground-lauched cruise missiles, that is. With these systems, China could deliver thousands of warheads.

China has at least 86 ICBMs (36 DF-5s, at least 30 DF-31/31As, 20 DF-4s, and an unknown number of DF-41s), all of them multiple-warhead excluding the DF-4s; 6 ballistic missile submarines with at least 12 multiple-warhead missiles each; 440 nuclear-capable strike aircraft (H-6[1], Q-5, JH-7) capable of carrying both nuclear bombs and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles; and at least 100 DF-21 and DF-3 MRBMs. For local nuclear strikes, it has over 1,600 short-range BMs and hundreds of ground-launched cruise missiles like the DH-10 and CJ-10.

Overall, former Russian strategic missile force chief of staff Gen. Viktor Yesin estimates China to have at least 1,600-1,800 nuclear warheads and enough fissile material for 3,600, while former DOD chief nuclear strategist Dr Philip Karber, now a Georgetown University professor, estimates China to have 3,000 warheads.

China itself continually refuses to disclose the size of its arsenal while deceptively claiming it has a “minimum deterrence” policy. Deception, of course, is what ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu advised.[3]

So while America’s potential adversaries are growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, Obama is deeply and unilaterally cutting America’s own. What term would you use to describe such behavior?

Please call your Congressman and both of your senators and tell them they MUST support the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014 (H.R. 1960) with the Rogers Amendment in it. The Rogers Amendment, authored by Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the widely-respected chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, will prohibit Obama from cutting the US nuclear arsenal any further unless a new arms reduction treaty, requiring proportional cuts in Russia’s arsenal, is ratified OR Congress itself consents to cutting the nuclear deterrent.

Also please tell your Congressman and both of your Senators to go further and pass a firm, TOTAL ban on ANY further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, absent a decision by Congress itself. No more one-sided New START treaties.

Please tell them that you will NEVER, EVER vote for them again if they fail to support such important legal protections of America’s nuclear umbrella, which is the best nonproliferation tool ever invented.

And lastly, if your Congressman is Mike Rogers of Alabama, or one of the Republicans who voted for his amendment in committee, please contact his office to thank him.


[1] Called the Kalibr in other sources.

[2] I conservatively count each of China’s 160 H-6 bombers as being capable of delivering only one warhead, even though some of these bombers – namely, those of the H-6K variant – can deliver at least 6 nuclear-tipped ICBMs over a distance of 4,400 kms. The bomber’s own combat radius is 2,200 kms, and the missile has its own additional range of another 2,200 kms.

[3] Indeed, Sun Tzu wrote that all warfare is based on deception.

Why deep defense cuts MUST be avoided at all costs

I could just as well title this article “why defense must always be fully funded” or “why America must always maintain a strong, second-to-none defense”, but all three titles effectively mean the same thing, so I have chosen the above one.

We are being told from all directions by various kinds of people – from liberals like Clinton Admin official Gordon Adams to libertarians like Justin Amash and Mick Mulvaney to supposed conservatives like Rush Limbaugh that America can afford deep cuts in the defense budget and still have a strong military; or, in the case of other libertarians, like the Students For Liberty/Ron Paul crowd, that America doesn’t need a strong military, that it would only be a tool of oppression, and that America can safely retrench and hide behind oceans and nothing will threaten it.

But all of those claims are garbage, and in this article, I’ll show you why. They might’ve made some sense during the 18th century, when any attack on America would’ve had to be a seaborne invasion or one from Mexico or Canada.

But in the 21st century, when America has vital interests around the world, when its economy is deeply interconnected to those of its allies and friends (such as Japan and South Korea), and in the era of nuclear weapons, ICBMs, ballistic missile submarines, intercontinental bombers, EMP weapons, and cyber attacks, such beliefs are utterly ridiculous. Those who indulge them live in a kum-ba-yah world.

Let us start with this timeless principle taught by Sun Tzu in his Art of War (ch. 8, v. 11):

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

We should not delude ourselves that we will never be attacked, or not for a long time, or that America is somehow invincible or unassailable, or that its military is overwhelmingly superior when this is clearly not the case.

Providing for the common defense is not only necessary, it is the Federal Government’s #1 Constitutional DUTY. Art. IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution clearly imposes this obligation on the government; the majority of enumerated powers granted to the Congress deal with military matters; and the Preamble to the Constitution – makes it clear that one of the reasons why the federal government was create in the first place is to “provide for the common defense”. Furthermore, the military is the ONLY significant expenditure authorized by the Constitution. Federal entitlement and welfare programs are utterly unconstitutional and thus illegal.

Furthermore, the claim – often made by proponents of deep defense cuts in order to lull Americans into a false sense of security – that the US military is still overwhelmingly superior to those of other countries – is completely false (although I wish it was true). The militaries of China and Russia, as documented in detailed analysis here, have already closed the vast majority of the gaps between their and the US military’s capabilities, and are now working hard on closing the remaining few gaps. Where those gaps still exist, as in aircraft carriers, for example, China and Russia have created asymmetric advantages of their own with anti-access/area-denial weapons such as aircraft carrier killing missiles.

For a detailed analysis of China’s and Russia’s military capabilities, see here.

Another oft-made false claim which is supposed to justify deep defense cuts is that they could supposedly be done safely if the military were just granted the flexibility to decide where to make the cuts and that if such reductions are made “strategically”, in a “targeted” manner, they can supposedly be done safely.

The “studies” produced by CATO, the “Project on Defense Alternatives”, the Center for American Progress, POGO-TCS,  the NTU, and Sen. Tom Coburn (RINO-OK) are often invoked as examples and as supposed “proof” that deep defense cuts can be done safely.

But I have read and analyzed virtually all of these “studies”, and ALL of them would, if implemented (God forbid), result in the utter gutting of the US military. Why? Because the vast majority of the cuts they call for would be directed at the muscle and bone of the US military – the force structure (i.e. the size of the military), its personnel, weapons, munitions, and forward deployments.

These “studies” call for deep personnel, weapon inventory, weapon program, and force size cuts across the board to all four Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force) and to the already barely-adequate nuclear deterrent. They call for killing dozens of crucial modernization programs, including the Long Range Strike Bomber, the ICBM replacement program, the V-22 Osprey, the F-35, the Virginia class, and many others.

If one were to plan on how to completely gut the US military, one could not come up with a better plan than those produced by the above-mentioned leftist think-tanks (most of which, including CATO, POGO, and the CAP, are co-funded by George Soros) and by Sen. Coburn. These plans seem to be deliberately designed to gut the US military.

And NONE of these proposals or “studies” are really “strategic”, because none of them are underpinned by any strategy, only by a desire to gut the US military. Strategy is about setting priorities, funding them fully, and cutting back only on non-priority programs/objectives/activities; failure to set priorities and to fund them adequately is essentially the same thing as sequestration.

But in those “studies”, there are no priorities – like sequestration, they all call for deep, across-the-board cuts to everything the US military has and does – mostly to the muscle and bone of the military.

The first and only “priority” of these studies’ authors is to gut the US military, plain and simple.

I have refuted these ridiculous “studies” here, here, here, and here among other articles.

For his part, HumanEvents columnist Robert Maginnis wrongly claims that the US can make these cuts safely if it simply scraps a number of current missions.

But that is wrong. To make cuts on the scale of sequestration, the US military would have to jettison dozens of missions – including many crucial, necessary missions connected to America’s own national security (not just that of its allies). For example, air, naval, and ground superiority, nuclear deterrence, and missile defense.

Those who call for jettisoning many military missions and cuts on the scale of sequestration need to be made to say what exact missions they think the military should scrap and be forced to admit that doing so would mean not meeting America’s security needs and thus imperiling national security.

As then-SECDEF Robert Gates said in 2011:

“These are the kinds of scenarios we need to consider, the kinds of discussions we need to have.  If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated.  (…)  To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences – and the hard decisions that must follow – I would regard as managerial cowardice.

In closing, while I have spent a good  deal of time on programmatic particulars, the tough choices ahead are really about the kind of role the American people – accustomed to unquestioned military dominance for the past two decades – want their country to play in the world.”

Then there are those like Rush Limbaugh and Rand Paul who falsely claim that sequestration would be a mere cut to the growth rate of defense spending. But that is a blatant lie.

As the CBO has proven, and as I have documented here, sequestration would cut the base defense budget from $525 bn today to $469 bn in March and keep it well below today’s level (and even below $500 bn) for the next decade at least. By FY2022, the last year of the “sequestration decade”, the base defense budget would be at $493 bn – still below $500 bn and well below today’s level of $525 bn.


Meanwhile, OCO (war) spending is shrinking annually from its FY2011 peak and is set to disappear in FY2016, once all US troops leave Afghanistan.

The DOE’s defense-related (nuclear) programs and the DOD’s unspent balances from previous years are also subject to sequestration, as are all other national-security-related agencies.

In other words, sequestration would be an IMMEDIATE, REAL, DEEP, and PERMANENT cut in defense spending. It would not be a mere cut in the rate of growth. In other words, Rush, Rand, and other sequestration pooh-poohers are blatantly lying. (And the people spreading that lie are children of the Father of Lies himself.)

President Ronald Reagan articulated the need for a strong military – and the case against defense cuts – well here and here.

Let Robert Gates – a man of whom I’ve been very critical – nonetheless have the last word here:

“Since I entered government 45 years ago, I’ve shifted my views and changed my mind on a good many things as circumstances, new information, or logic dictated.  But I have yet to see evidence that would dissuade me from this fundamental belief: that America does have a special position and set of responsibilities on this planet.  I share Winston Churchill’s belief that “the price of greatness is responsibility…[and] the people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility.”  This status provides enormous benefits – for allies, partners, and others abroad to be sure, but in the final analysis the greatest beneficiaries are the American people, in terms of our security, our prosperity, and our freedom.

I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war.  But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th.”