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Online mystery-ak

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Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« on: February 25, 2014, 09:09:18 PM »
http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-appropriations/199256-defense-hawks-claw-pentagon-budget

February 25, 2014, 06:56 pm
Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget

By Kristina Wong and Erik Wasson

President Obama’s new defense budget is getting a rough reception on Capitol Hill, drawing strong opposition from GOP defense hawks and tepid support from Democrats.

Republicans say the budget, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel previewed on Monday, endangers U.S. national security by reducing the size of the military during a time of growing threats.

“We live in an ever increasingly dangerous world and this budget is out of touch with reality,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) vowed to kill the defense budget request outright.

“We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” he said, adding it was, “ill-conceived, ill-designed, bad defense policy, detached from reality — I am running out of adjectives.”

The defense budget request, which will be released on March 4 and is subject to congressional approval, would shrink the Army to between 440,000 and 450,000 troops, reduce operations for 11 Navy cruisers and cut the Air Force’s fleet of A-10 attack jets and U-2 spy planes. It would also cap military pay raises and reduce military benefits while calling for a new round of base closings.

“I just think it is taking the Army down to a level where you restrain your ability to fight the war that comes your way. The best way to fight a war is deterrence, and I think readiness at the number you are talking about, I just don’t think [the Army] is equipped for the threats you face,” Graham said.

The top Republican on the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee echoed Graham and said he was skeptical of Obama’s plan.

“While we will consider President Obama’s budget, I will be skeptical of proposals to cut military benefits, close bases, or do anything that might diminish the effectiveness of the National Guard, Reserves or active duty forces,” Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said.

The budget is the first Hagel has been able to shape since being confirmed as Pentagon chief last year in a 58-41 vote. His nomination drew the fiercest opposition for a Defense secretary in more than two decades.

McCain said he thought Hagel was doing a “good job” but wished he had consulted with Congress before unveiling the budget request.

“Many of the cuts that they are proposing will not be enacted. It’s obvious these cuts are ignoring the lessons of history,” McCain said.

Democrats say they are reserving judgment on the budget proposal until they can review it in detail, but they predicted changes would have to be made.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he had “plenty” of concerns about the suggested cuts, but added that he was “not going to say one of them is more problematical than the other one” until he could review the entire request.

“We have to go through those [proposals] very carefully,” added Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who is chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee. “There are some of those I accept, and some of those I don’t, but I’ll wait to take a look at the whole package.”

Instead, Democrats are coalescing around Hagel’s call for a reversal of the congressional budget caps known as sequestration beyond 2015.

The recent Bipartisan Budget Act relieved $21 billion in sequestration cuts in 2014 and $9 billion in 2015, but the cuts of $50 billion per year would hit the department again in 2016.

Democrats also support a White House initiative that would pump $56 billion into the 2015 budgets, to be split between defense and non-defense.

“The sequester remains in effect to a large extent and we pay a heavy price in terms of defense and non-defense,” Levin said. “That is why the administration put in this $56 billion pool of money, almost evenly divided between defense and non-defense, provided it is paid for. They are going to give us their proposed pay-fors in the next few weeks, as I understand.”

Two Senate Democrats from Virginia, which has a large military and defense industrial presence, went further.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said he wished Hagel had waited until February 2015 for the recommendations of a Pentagon commission appointed to look at military pay and benefits.

“I’m worried that our military and veterans are being asked to have commissaries and benefits to take a hit now when — to my mind, we still ought to be looking at a broader-based grand bargain of retirement reform and tax reform,” he said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said he is keeping an open mind but will be examining the Navy’s aircraft carrier operation budget. Hagel said if sequestration is not reversed by 2016, a carrier might have to be cut.

“I am particularly focused on the carriers as a Virginia guy. I think carriers are our greatest and most visible force projection. There is a statutory requirement for 11 carriers,” he said.

Graham said the Obama administration needed to deal with entitlement and tax reform to undo sequestration.

“If that is not possible, I would do everything I can to increase defense spending to keep an Army, Navy and Air Force that are capable of fighting the fights that are surely going to occur in the 21st century,” he said.
 

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Online DCPatriot

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Re: Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 09:23:13 PM »
As a product of the 50's and 60's, when justice was served in thirty minutes....on a 13 inch B&W screen...

I have a hard time with a U.S. President appearing to subvert our National Security position by lowering troop levels to pre-WWII numbers.

If this were GWB, I'd sleep well at night, figuring we have an orbital weapons platform that can make Hiroshima appear tame.  It's the only moral reason to lower public military readiness.

OTOH....with this regime, everything they have done...soup to nuts has had a negative effect on the economy and it's apparent to even a moron, that they do NOT appreciate and love our country as you or I.
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"I am responsible for what I say.  I am not responsible for what your understand."  ...me

Online mystery-ak

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Re: Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 09:27:55 PM »
This is the first article I have found that even mentions any resistance....hopefully most of this won't pass through Congress..

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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 10:24:33 PM »
This is the first article I have found that even mentions any resistance....hopefully most of this won't pass through Congress..

yah...show me one frickin' Dhimmie who is running for reelection on Chuckie Hagel's Defense cuts.  Even the far Left has to be screaming bloody murder over this one....


Offline Oceander

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Re: Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 03:21:33 PM »
Reducing US military assets to below pre-WWII levels.  Hmm, as I recall - at least from reading my history books - the US was severely hamstrung at the start of WWII, particularly after Pearl Harbor, precisely because of its low level of military assets immediately prior to WWII.

While it's a canard that generals usually fight - and prepare for - the last war, it seems reasonable to wonder whether reducing forces to that level (again) would (again) leave the US ill-prepared to handle The Next Big Thing.  Certainly it would leave the US ill-prepared to handle a third world war, which is not an altogether impossible scenario; possibly a hot conflict between Israel and the rest of the Middle East that  (a) draws in Russia (in defense of its satellite countries, such as Syria), (b) spills over into Asia and lights up the simmering conflicts between muslim and non-muslim countries, e.g., between India and Pakistan; should India and Pakistan start a wide-ranging hot war between themselves, China will almost certainly intervene militarily - ostensibly on Pakistan's side would be my guess - and if the conflict were to become hot enough, North Korea might decide that it was an opportune time to move against South Korea, and (c) creates massive unrest in most of Western Europe as the large muslim enclaves there begin a series of civil wars within and among various of the European countries.  Were Western Europe to become paralyzed by several large internal conflicts, the Russians might find it almost irresistible to cherry-pick some of the former SSRs in the name of bringing order to embroiled Europe.

Under a scenario like that the US would almost certainly be called upon to engage in at least two theaters of war - the Middle East and Europe - and possibly three, depending on how widespread the Asian conflict became.  At below pre-WWII military force levels, it would take the US at least a year to ramp up production to the point where it could intervene in two theaters, and possibly even before it could successfully intervene in even one theater.

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Re: Defense hawks claw Pentagon budget
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 03:33:58 PM »
As Rummy has said *you go to war with the military you have*....well my hubby was a part of that invading Iraq....taking a convoy from Kuwait to Balad with Chinooks as air cover...luckily they all made it but it took several years for the military to get up to speed...remember the protective vest controversy at the beginning of the war is a good example of not having equipment for all......you can thank Clinton for all that...but at the time it was Bush's fault..

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