Subject: Obama's defense cuts proposed The following is an opinion piece written by Chet Nagle, graduate of the US Naval Academy, Class of 1958 and author of Iran Covenant > > The Obama administration intends to slash the defense budget in order > > to pay for its riotous spending on bailouts, stimulus bills, their > > signature healthcare program, and massive pork bribes for votes from > > congressmen who hopefully will not survive this November s balloting. > > > > To continue the spending spree, the White House plans to eliminate > > over a trillion defense dollars in the next ten years. Details of > > those proposed cuts were laid out by Rep. Barney Frank s (D-MA) > > Sustainable Defense Task Force in a 56 page report titled: Debt, > > Deficits, and Defense A Way Forward. None of the service > > arms are spared. > > > > The Navy will be reduced to eight aircraft carriers (from eleven > > planned) and seven air wings. Eight ballistic missile submarines will > > be cut from the planned force of fourteen, leaving just six. Building of > > nuclear attack submarines will be cut in half, leaving a force of forty > > by 2020. The four active guided missile submarines would be cut, too. > > > > Destroyer building would be frozen and the new DDG-1000 destroyer > > program canceled. Among other huge cuts, the fleet is to be reduced > > to 230 combat ships, eliminating 57 vessels from a current force > > level of 287. > > > > The Air Force must retire six fighter air wings equivalents, and at > > the same time build 301 fewer F-35 fighters. > > > > The nuclear bomber force will be completely eliminated in the name of > > unilateral disarmament the B-1 and B-2 and B-52 and other bombers will > > still be able to drop bombs, but their nuclear weapon wiring and > > controls will simply be removed. > > > > Procurement of the new refueling tanker and the C-17 cargo aircraft > > will be canceled. Directed energy beam research and other advanced > > missile and space warfare defense projects will also be eliminated or > > curtailed. > > > > Active duty Army personnel will be slashed from 562,400 to 360,000. > > That includes elimination of about five active-component brigade > > combat teams (the report is not exact). The Army will also suffer a > > myriad of other cuts, including closure of overseas bases. > > > > The Marine Corps would be cut by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000, and > > the other funding cuts planned for the Corps mean the United States > > will not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile > > shore. Marine Corps programs to be killed include the V-22 Osprey > > tilt rotor aircraft and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. > > > > The hot button item of reducing pay, pension, healthcare and other > > benefits for our soldiers, their wives, their families and their > > widows is stated as: Resetting the calculation of military > > compensation and reforming the provision of military health care. > > Whatever those mysterious words will ultimately come to mean, the > > task force report shows a planned reduction of pay and benefits for > > the troops and their families to the tune of $120 billion. > > > > Many other proposed cuts are not addressed in coherent detail, > > including how the reduction of our deployed nuclear warheads to 500 > > would be accomplished (a much greater reduction than contemplated by > > the pending START treaty with Russia). > > > > Todays deterrent force of 500 Minuteman III missiles, for example, > > would be reduced to just 160 missiles or less, which then leaves a > > balance of 340 warheads for ballistic submarines and tactical > > delivery systems everywhere in the world! > > > > Other key parts of American strategic defenses are slashed as well, > > including modernization, research, and maintaining safety and > > reliability of existing weapons. > > > > These sweeping reductions in our defenses are bad enough, but the > > most disturbing part of the report from Rep. Frank s task force of > > think-tank pundits is the lack of a rationale for such drastic cuts. > > > > Instead of serious proposals for a national security strategy, the > > task force recommends something they call a policy of restraint.