Democrats Begin Dismantling U.S. Defenses by Former Author | Apr 8, 2009 | Foreign Policy, Military, Military Budget, Uncategorized | 42 comments Posted by Former Author on 8 April, 2009 at 9:06 am. 42 comments already! [DELETED BY AUTHOR] 42 Comments openid.aol.com/runnswim on April 8, 2009 at 9:32 am It’s not Obama’s plan. It’s the plan of Defense Secretary Gates, a Bush appointee. And it’s not so different from what Rumsfeld did, at the beginning of the first Bush term. Cut unneeded weapons systems (e.g. Crusader mobile artillary) and re-focus efforts in directions more consistent with the foreseeable threats. Obama’s not cutting the defense budget; he’s increasing it. But it’s being redirected to things such as increasing mobile operations forces and transport for these forces. I (pointedly) notice that you omit mention of the fact that they are also terminating the $12 billion dollar program, begun by the Bush administration, to replace the Presidential helicopter fleet. Obama said “I don’t need new helicopters.” Just once, Mike, I’d like to see you give a nodding glance of credit to where credit is due. I think that Bush’s Supreme Court appointments were first rate (giving him a mulligan on Harriey Myers) and what he did for Africa was monumentally epic. – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA Reply Aqua on April 8, 2009 at 9:42 am We can pump in billions of dollars to build two seater segways and Fiats, but if you work in the defense industry, NO JOB FOR YOU! Yep, brilliant our messiah is. Reply Mike's America on April 8, 2009 at 9:45 am @openid.aol.com/runnswim says: ” t’s the plan of Defense Secretary Gates, a Bush appointee. “ HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! Larry you should do stand up comedy. Is Obama responsible for ANYTHING? Gate’s is OBAMA’S Secretary of Defense. He no longer works for George Bush. Surely you are not suggesting that Bush called Gates up and suggested slashing the military budget? You’re willingness to twist and spin such essential facts is disturbing. How can anyone treat your opinions seriously when you clearly show such a lack of intellectual integrity on key points? Reply b1jetmech on April 8, 2009 at 10:07 am Larry: Obama’s teleprompter has notified Bill Gates of the defense cuts, leaving Gates with the decisions of which programs to remove. Obama’s teleprompter doesn’t know which is which in defense programs so he’s out sourcing it to Bill Gates like he did with the phony stimulus bill to Nancy polosie’s office. I know your putting the decisions of defense cuts on Gates but the Buck stops at the president (Harry Truman). Obama’s timing couldn’t be more perfect for his Marxist ideology of dismantling the worlds only free super power. China is spending more then ever on build up of their military. Russia is at their old ways…invading Georgia, isolating Europe from natural gas supplies. Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism is building nuclear weapons, supported by Russia and China. North Korea just launched another missile…Obama just talks and apologizes to the world, sucking up to islamists and dictators. So the times ahead will interesting and possibly will catch us off guard. But liberals do not like the military and put their faith in diplomacy which historically never works when dealing with tyrants and dictators because they think diplomacy is very sophisticated and look at a strong military as intimidation and knuckle dragging with a club. Welcome back Carter! Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 10:09 am Mike I don’t think Larry is showing a lack of intellectual integrity. Gates did make his recommendations to Obama at that is reflected in the speech he gave. There is really nothing to spin unless you are suggesting Gates is spinning. Larry accurately reported what is being done. Here is Robert Gates in his own words: Defense Budget Recommendation Statement (Arlington, VA) As Prepared for Delivery by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Arlington, VA, Monday, April 06, 2009 ——————————————————————————– Today, I am announcing the key decisions I will recommend to the president with respect to the fiscal year 2010 defense budget. The president agreed to this unorthodox approach – announcing the department’s request before the White House submits a budget to the Congress – because of the scope and significance of the changes. In addition, the president and I believe that the American people deserve to learn of these recommendations fully and in context, as the proposed changes are interconnected and cannot be properly communicated or understood in isolation from one another. Collectively, they represent a budget crafted to reshape the priorities of America’s defense establishment. If approved, these recommendations will profoundly reform how this department does business. In many ways, my recommendations represent the cumulative outcome of a lifetime spent in the national security arena and, above all, questions asked, experience gained, and lessons learned from over two years of leading this department – and, in particular, from our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. I reached the final decisions after many hours of consultations with the military and civilian leadership of the department. I have also consulted closely with the president. But, I received no direction or guidance from outside this department on individual program decisions. The chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in complete accord with these recommendations. The chairman is traveling abroad but he has provided a statement that we will distribute at the end of the briefing. My decisions have been almost exclusively influenced by factors other than simply finding a way to balance the books or fit under the “top line” – as is normally the case with most budget exercises. Instead, these recommendations are the product of a holistic assessment of capabilities, requirements, risks and needs for the purpose of shifting this department in a different strategic direction. Let me be clear: I would have made virtually all of the decisions and recommendations announced today regardless of the department’s top line budget number. The decisions have three principal objectives: • First, to reaffirm our commitment to take care of the all-volunteer force, which, in my view represents America’s greatest strategic asset; • Second, we must rebalance this department’s programs in order to institutionalize and enhance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead, while at the same time providing a hedge against other risks and contingencies. • Third, in order to do this, we must reform how and what we buy, meaning a fundamental overhaul of our approach to procurement, acquisition, and contracting. With regard to the troops and their families, I will recommend that we: 1. Fully protect and properly fund the growth in military end strength in the base budget. This means completing the growth in the Army and Marines while halting reductions in the Air Force and the Navy. Accomplishing this will require a nearly $11 billion increase above the FY09 budget level. 2. Continue the steady growth in medical research and development by requesting $400 million more than last year. 3. Recognize the critical and permanent nature of wounded, ill and injured, traumatic brain injury, and psychological health programs. This means institutionalizing and properly funding these efforts in the base budget and increasing overall spending by $300 million. The department will spend over $47 billion on healthcare in FY10. 4. Increase funding by $200 million for improvements in child care, spousal support, lodging, and education. Many of these programs have been funded in the past by supplementals. We must move away from ad hoc funding of long-term commitments. Thus, we have added money to each of these areas and all will be permanently and properly carried in the base defense budget. Together they represent an increase in base budget funding of $13 billion from last year. As I told the Congress in January, our struggles to put the defense bureaucracies on a war footing these past few years have revealed underlying flaws in the priorities, cultural preferences, and reward structures of America’s defense establishment – a set of institutions largely arranged to prepare for conflicts against other modern armies, navies, and air forces. Programs to directly support, protect, and care for the man or woman at the front have been developed ad hoc and funded outside the base budget. Put simply, until recently there has not been an institutional home in the Defense Department for today’s warfighter. Our contemporary wartime needs must receive steady long-term funding and a bureaucratic constituency similar to conventional modernization programs. I intend to use the FY10 budget to begin this process. 1. First, we will increase intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support for the warfighter in the base budget by some $2 billion. This will include: • Fielding and sustaining 50 Predator-class unmanned aerial vehicle orbits by FY11 and maximizing their production. This capability, which has been in such high demand in both Iraq and Afghanistan, will now be permanently funded in the base budget. It will represent a 62 percent increase in capability over the current level and 127 percent from over a year ago. • Increasing manned ISR capabilities such as the turbo-prop aircraft deployed so successfully as part of “Task Force Odin” in Iraq. • Initiating research and development on a number of ISR enhancements and experimental platforms optimized for today’s battlefield. 2. We will also spend $500 million more in the base budget than last year to increase our capacity to field and sustain more helicopters – a capability that is in urgent demand in Afghanistan. Today, the primary limitation on helicopter capacity is not airframes but shortages of maintenance crews and pilots. So our focus will be on recruiting and training more Army helicopter crews. 3. To boost global partnership capacity efforts, we will increase funding by $500 million. These initiatives include training and equipping foreign militaries to undertake counter terrorism and stability operations. 4. To grow our special operations capabilities, we will increase personnel by more than 2,800 or five percent and will buy more special forces-optimized lift, mobility, and refueling aircraft. We will increase the buy of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) – a key capability for presence, stability, and counterinsurgency operations in coastal regions – from two to three ships in FY 2010. Our goal is to eventually acquire 55 of these ships. 5. To improve our inter-theater lift capacity, we will increase the charter of Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) ships from two to four until our own production program begins deliveries in 2011. 6. We will stop the growth of Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) at 45 versus 48 while maintaining the planned increase in end strength of 547,000. This will ensure that we have better-manned units ready to deploy, and help put an end to the routine use of stop loss. This step will also lower the risk of hollowing the force. Even as we begin to shift resources and institutional weight towards supporting the current wars and other potential irregular campaigns, the United States must still contend with the security challenges posed by the military forces of other countries – from those actively hostile to those at strategic crossroads. Last year’s National Defense Strategy concluded that although U.S. predominance in conventional warfare is not unchallenged, it is sustainable for the medium term given current trends. This year’s budget deliberations focused on what programs are necessary to deter aggression, project power when necessary, and protect our interests and allies around the globe. To this end, I will recommend new or additional investments and shifts in several key areas: Gates also increases spending in certain areas so I personally don’t see this as hurting our national security but rather refocusing resources to better fight the wars we are engaged in. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 8, 2009 at 10:42 am @Ron: Are you really that naive? Gates didn’t just spontaneously decide to cut missile defense. Or do you think it is a coincidence that Obama promised such cuts in his campaign? Obama told Gates to make cuts and Gates did his job. Giving Obama a pass is silly and dishonest. Prove me wrong Ron…. Let’s see how many of Gate’s recommendations Obama rejects. You going to come back and follow up with that one??? I won’t be holding my breath. Reply newguy40 on April 8, 2009 at 10:56 am Military weakness coupled with perceived lack of will is a recipe for disaster. There is absolutely nothing wrong with talking with adversaries. It’s all a matter of context and perception between the parties. I completely agree that this is solely an Obama decision. Reply Ed on April 8, 2009 at 10:58 am The Defense budget is increasing by $23 billion. This is just cherry-picking to advance an agenda that everything Obama does is wrong. Republicans are supposed to be supporting spending freezes. Or is defense exempt from that premise? Reply bill-tb on April 8, 2009 at 11:07 am Larry is the local designated Soros clown. Who knew. When slo Joe said Obama would be tested and his response may not seem logical, boy was he correct about that. It’s common knowledge you cannot be liberal and rational at the same time. The good news is the terrorist have already shown an affinity for New York … Oops sorry, not terrorists, man caused disaster. Sort of like what Obama represents. Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 11:13 am Mike I’m not giving Obama a pass. I am fully aware that Obama wanted cuts. I’m also aware that Gates is the secretary of defense and it is his job to oversee the prosecution of the ongoing wars as well as any potential threats. As such he did add funding to certain areas that are listed above. That’s not the point though. You missed what Gates said, see below: Gates also said: My decisions have been almost exclusively influenced by factors other than simply finding a way to balance the books or fit under the “top line” – as is normally the case with most budget exercises. Instead, these recommendations are the product of a holistic assessment of capabilities, requirements, risks and needs for the purpose of shifting this department in a different strategic direction. Let me be clear: I would have made virtually all of the decisions and recommendations announced today regardless of the department’s top line budget number. And this: But, I received no direction or guidance from outside this department on individual program decisions. The chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in complete accord with these recommendations. The chairman is traveling abroad but he has provided a statement that we will distribute at the end of the briefing. Rumsfeld routinely made recommendations to Bush regarding the Iraq war…so how is this any different? And you just acknowledged in your response to me that these are in fact Gates recommendations and that Obama will more than likely reject them. If he does then yes that’s on Obama. You missed my point entirely. My point was that I didn’t see where Larry was showing a lack of “intellectual integrity” by pointing out that these are in fact Gates’ recommendations which is what you just admitted to. So how is Larry wrong…or myself for that matter? And no Mike I’m not naive I just pay attention to what I read…and that’s not meant as a slight at you. I’m saying two different people with two different ideologies (Larry and myself) got the same interpretation from what Gates said. Maybe Gates is lying, I really don’t know but they are his recommendations and he clearly states that. Geesh Mike I agree with you about 90% of the time but it is unrealistic to expect me to agree with EVERYTHING you post. Ron Reply philly_nj on April 8, 2009 at 11:17 am Termination of the Airborne Laser (ABL) program: With regimes that are unfriendly towards the USA hell bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and long range missiles termination of the ABL program doesn’t look like ‘Smart Power’ to me. Lasers are the future especially if we want the threat of nuclear warfare to be the past. . Reply Mike's America on April 8, 2009 at 11:24 am @Ed: Are you saying the termination of these defense programs is just an illusion? While Obama increases the budget of other federal depts. by anywhere from 40 to 90% we are supposed to be satisfied with his modest increase in SOME defense programs? You really want to keep toeing that line? @Ron: You ARE naive! I look forward to your reporting back when Obama rejects Gate’s “recommendations.” Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 11:26 am And then there’s this: OMB Draws $527 Billion Line on Defense Budget Based on Bush Estimate By Josh Rogin, CQ Staff The Obama administration has given the Pentagon a $527 billion limit, excluding war costs, for its fiscal 2010 Defense budget, an Office of Management and Budget official said Monday. If enacted, that would be about $14 billion more than the $513 billion allocated for fiscal 2009 (PL 110-329), including military construction funds, and it would match what the Bush administration estimated last year for the Pentagon in fiscal 2010. But it sets up a potential conflict between the new administration and the Defense Department’s entrenched bureaucracy, which has remained largely intact through the presidential transition. Some Pentagon officials and congressional conservatives are already trying to portray the OMB number as a cut by comparing it with a $584 billion draft budget request compiled last fall by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for fiscal 2010. The $527 billion figure is “what the Bush people thought was the right number last February, and that’s the number we’re going with,” said the OMB official, who declined to be identified. “The Joint Chiefs did that to lay down a marker for the incoming administration that was unrealistic. It’s more of a wish list than anything else.” Defense budget experts have said the draft by the Joint Chiefs, which was never publicly released, was designed to pressure the Obama administration to drastically increase Defense spending or be forced to defend a reluctance to do so. Defense officials in past outgoing administrations have left inflated budget estimates for incoming officials in the hope of raising the spending baseline. The Joint Chiefs’ draft budget was never scrubbed by President George W. Bush ’s OMB, which had told federal agencies to submit draft budgets based on current services. One key issue is the administration’s decision to reduce supplemental appropriations by folding into the base Pentagon budget the non-war-related spending that has cropped up in supplemental bills. The Pentagon refused to comment publicly on why it would need the higher amount. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the fiscal 2010 Defense budget must contend with the realities of the bad economy and stop the trend of steep increases in military budgets since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Gates also has said the department will deliver Congress a formal request for a second tranche of fiscal 2009 war funding “in the coming weeks.” He sent Congress an estimate for that tab of $69.7 billion. “I believe that the FY 2010 budget must make hard choices,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 27. But behind the scenes, Pentagon officials have already begun trying to cast the new administration’s fiscal 2010 Defense number as a cut. A Jan. 30 Fox News report quoted a senior Defense official as saying the Obama administration demanded a $55 billion cut in Defense spending. President Obama met with the Joint Chiefs that day. “To call that a cut would be wrong, because what the chiefs had done was a huge increase,” said Gordon Adams, who led the national security division of OMB during the Clinton administration. Ron Reply Aqua on April 8, 2009 at 11:26 am Ed said – “The Defense budget is increasing by $23 billion. This is just cherry-picking to advance an agenda that everything Obama does is wrong. Republicans are supposed to be supporting spending freezes. Or is defense exempt from that premise?” Sorry Ed, this isn’t true. The Bush Administration ran the budget for the wars outside the DOD budget. The Obama Administration plans on keeping the costs of the wars within the DOD budget. It’s actually about an $8 billion cut. Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 11:35 am Mike That was a dodge and you know it. You didn’t answer my question nor address any of the points I made. And calling me naive doesn’t make you right it. I notice you resort to name calling or insults whenever someone contradicts what you say. That’s a tired strategy and you certainly don’t know me well enough to call me naive Mike. We’ve been down this road before and it got us nowhere. And since I’m not insulting you but merely questioning what you posted, I won’t be apologizing this time. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm @Ron: Cutting and pasting press releases from Obama’s Dept. of Defense is hardly a point I need to address. I realize you are offended that I consider your opinion “naive” but that doesn’t change the fact that is is. I don’t know what I can say to encourage you to understand that Gate’s is merely carrying out orders. Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 12:43 pm Mike: Dodge Dodge Dodge. Yes Gates is carrying out orders but he CLEARLY states the what programs are cut and what programs are EXPANDED (left that part out didn’t you Mike) is his decision. So again I ask you is Gates lying about that? Yes or no so as to keep it simple. Here’s a refresher Mike: Gates Says “But, I received no direction or guidance from outside this department on individual program decisions. The chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are in complete accord with these recommendations. The chairman is traveling abroad but he has provided a statement that we will distribute at the end of the briefing”. And again I’ll ask you how was Larry lacking “intellectual integrity” by what he said? You still haven’t answered that. Oh and just because you say something Mike…doesn’t make it so. I’m not offended by your comment because you are wrong and closed minded when it comes to differing opinions. Maybe it’s you who is naive Mike, either that or you just can’t accept that sometimes you misspeak. Guess what Mike, sometimes you’re wrong! Ron Reply ruaqtpi2 on April 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm I’ll be the devil’s advocate here, to see if perhaps light can be shed on this arena from another angle. If Obama in fact is increasing the defense budget, why would Gates need to do any trimming at all, especially if Obama’s increases are indeed in line with Bush’s recommendations for fiscal 2010? The cuts that Gates is suggesting are not just a nip here and a tuck there; some of these are significant cuts. I’m sure that Obama told, texted, used smoke signals, telepathy, or some other means to request significant cuts from Gates. It wouldn’t surprise me if the two discussed at some lengths precisely which programs to target as a minimum. So with that in mind, if the defense budget is increasing marginally, staying the same, or even decreasing marginally, Gates’ cuts are intended to free up money for Obama to use somewhere else. More (non-combat) social engineers, and maybe some social program start-ups is what I’m guessing. Anyone else care to chime in? Does anyone NOT see the combination of Gates’ cuts and the negligible changes in the defense budget as freeing up money for some other as-yet-unspecified (but probably already pre-determined) program(s)? Jeff V Reply zipity on April 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm “The Bush Administration ran the budget for the wars outside the DOD budget. The Obama Administration plans on keeping the costs of the wars within the DOD budget. It’s actually about an $8 billion cut.” Care to address this Lefties…? I though not. But then again, Dimocrats have a long history of sleight of hand with numbers. For example, any reduction in the rate of INCREASE for the budget for their pet programs is always, always labeled a CUT…. Reply Ron on April 8, 2009 at 1:40 pm To all: No one is disputing cuts. I’m simply saying that WHICH programs are cut falls on Gates…who I am defending and not Obama. Gates isn’t going to jeopardize the wars and missions we are engaged in by cutting necessary programs that we need to fight terrorism and other rogue nations. Will anyone on here acknowledge where Gates proposes increasing funding? Such as: 1. First, we will increase intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support for the warfighter in the base budget by some $2 billion. This will include: • Fielding and sustaining 50 Predator-class unmanned aerial vehicle orbits by FY11 and maximizing their production. This capability, which has been in such high demand in both Iraq and Afghanistan, will now be permanently funded in the base budget. It will represent a 62 percent increase in capability over the current level and 127 percent from over a year ago. • Increasing manned ISR capabilities such as the turbo-prop aircraft deployed so successfully as part of “Task Force Odin” in Iraq. • Initiating research and development on a number of ISR enhancements and experimental platforms optimized for today’s battlefield. 2. We will also spend $500 million more in the base budget than last year to increase our capacity to field and sustain more helicopters – a capability that is in urgent demand in Afghanistan. Today, the primary limitation on helicopter capacity is not airframes but shortages of maintenance crews and pilots. So our focus will be on recruiting and training more Army helicopter crews. 3. To boost global partnership capacity efforts, we will increase funding by $500 million. These initiatives include training and equipping foreign militaries to undertake counter terrorism and stability operations. 4. To grow our special operations capabilities, we will increase personnel by more than 2,800 or five percent and will buy more special forces-optimized lift, mobility, and refueling aircraft. We will increase the buy of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) – a key capability for presence, stability, and counterinsurgency operations in coastal regions – from two to three ships in FY 2010. Our goal is to eventually acquire 55 of these ships. 5. To improve our inter-theater lift capacity, we will increase the charter of Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) ships from two to four until our own production program begins deliveries in 2011. There’s more of course but you get the point. At least let’s try and be a little objective here. I’m at at work and my day is done so I’ll respond to anything further tomorrow. To Zipity: I’m not a lefty, I just disagree with Mike’s analysis. Ron Reply gregory_dittman on April 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm The number of different weapon systems will be cut or delayed, but the number of weapon systems will increase. The C-17 will be cut, but the airforce complained to congress ordered too many C-130s. The F-22 will be cut, but the number of JSFs will be increased. It’s the JSF that’s replacing most of the aircraft, not the F-22 which was originally built to replace the F-15 models C and D but not the E. 469 F-15C/D models were built for the U.S. air force although some are probably replacements. Army’s Future Combat Systems was deemed a partial failure although Multicam is an extremely popular camo pattern among civilians around the world, especially for the game airsoft, and troops are already wearing the body armor. The rest of it consists of instruments that caused information overload on the troopers. Also the cable (for the rifle camera) that hooked from the rifle to the suit snagged on stuff. In 2004, the U.S. Navy had a combination of 289 ships and submarines. 22 new ships were suppose to be the Littoral Combat Ship although the costs of the ships have doubled before they were even built. Those ships were suppose to be cheaper, faster and less high tech than similar ships. Reply Timothy on April 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm F-22 is a hard cut to take. With the new MIG 35, Sukhoi 35, 37, (and future 47) and “Eurofighter knockoffs”, I can’t see the F-15 and F-16 duking it out with these new jets. They’ll have to depend upon long-range missiles (with AWACS support) to get a chance. The problem is, long range missile attacks have their drawbacks with IFF, jamming, ground terrain and that AWACS are now hunted prey with new long range air-to-air missiles developed by the Russians (range up to 250 miles). We could be looking at another Vietnam scenario where the airwings will depend too much on long range missles. In Both Iraq wars, US pilots were told NOT to dogfight with the MIG 29’s. The reason was that the 29’s turn radius was too tight for a F15 to take on (without major help). Russian fighters have specialized in becoming tight-turning dogfighting machines and have excellent technology and pilots to back it up. With upgrades in their missiles systems, they also have a long range punch. The F22, with it’s hardware/software, electronic jamming (which could burn out enemy electronics), super cruse, stealth and advanced missile could easily dominate the skies in it’s operating zone. I’m not too sure about the joint-strike-fighter as it’s more of an ground attack aircraft. As to the USAF’s airborne laser, that’s an asset not to pass up. There are lots of other applications such as air defense (take out bombers and fighters) air to air combat (hello star wars) and taking out ground targets. The technology has lots of future applications in other systems. Reply Mike's America on April 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm @Ron: You’re right Ron. It must be just some HUUUGGGEEEE Coincidence that Gates recommended cutting programs Obama specifically targeted in the campaign. You could take that campaign speech word for word and apply it to the CUTS Obama/Gates plan for defense. Reply openid.aol.com/runnswim on April 9, 2009 at 12:39 am It must be just some HUUUGGGEEEE Coincidence that Gates recommended cutting programs Obama specifically targeted in the campaign. Jon Stewart points out (with considerable humor) that the things Baracknophobes complain loudest about happen to have been campaign promises. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=223862&title=Baracknophobia—Obey – Larry W/HB Reply Adriane on April 9, 2009 at 12:54 am In other news, people who hate sushi avoid most Japanese restaurants… Reply liberaldude on April 9, 2009 at 6:25 am The overall military budget is going up 4%. Stop believing Fox News. Reply Ron on April 9, 2009 at 7:28 am To Mike: So your non-answer is that Gates is a liar. Ok I can accept that that is what you think. So basically, because Gates now works under a Democrat he is a liar and ineffective. So how was he under Bush in your opinion? As Larry did correctly mention, Rumsfeld did in fact do the same thing. He made certain CUTS in order to make increases in other areas. I can provide that link for you Mike although I doubt you’ll read it. And why didn’t you mention any INCREASES in defense funding in certain areas while cuts were being made in other areas? And why didn’t you mention that this is actually a 4% increase in actual spending and not projected spending? ……crickets…….. I watched your video of Obama and yes he mentions some of the same cuts Gates mentioned, BUT over and over he mentions WASTEFUL spending. Actually you entire post, now that I’ve gone back and reread it, I think it is entirely misleading. Your post says: “Democrats Begin Dismantling U.S. Defenses” But doesn’t include any details about where defense spending is increased. Also you didn’t make any reference to how bloated Pentagon spending was in the past and……you didn’t address this: “Defense officials in past outgoing administrations have left inflated budget estimates for incoming officials in the hope of raising the spending baseline. The Joint Chiefs’ draft budget was never scrubbed by President George W. Bush ’s OMB, which had told federal agencies to submit draft budgets based on current services” and this: . “But behind the scenes, Pentagon officials have already begun trying to cast the new administration’s fiscal 2010 Defense number as a cut. A Jan. 30 Fox News report quoted a senior Defense official as saying the Obama administration demanded a $55 billion cut in Defense spending. President Obama met with the Joint Chiefs that day”. “To call that a cut would be wrong, because what the chiefs had done was a huge increase,” said Gordon Adams, who led the national security division of OMB during the Clinton administration.” …..crickets…… Don’t worry Mike I expect the same dodging and non-answers you’ve been providing so just keep telling me how naïve and I am, because we wouldn’t want you to have to admit when you’re wrong. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 8:49 am @liberaldude: The overall budget is going up 4% but the cuts in missile defense are REAL. Also, compare the Obama increases for depts. that got an average budget increase of 80% under the Stimulus and Omnibus bills: http://republicans.appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=80&Month=2&Year=2009 @Ron: If you are going to start your day with that snarky tone don’t be surprised when it is reciprocated. But let’s go through this one more time as it’s clear I have nothing better to do: Gates made the recommendations. But it’s Obama’s budget. Obama’s Dept. of Defense and Democrats on the House and Senate appropriations committees will decide how much is spent and where. I’m not accusing Gates of lying. He’s just doing his job. But if you think he hasn’t had one discussion with Obama regarding overall budgetary guidance then you are mistaken. Now, you move on to expand your discussion to the broader area of defense budgeting. As you point out this is not in the scope of this post and I do not have any interest in making it so. If you feel strongly on this issue submit a reader post to Curt and ask him to put it up. I understand you don’t like the very blunt and direct language I have used to describe the cuts in defense systems and who is directly responsible. But you simply cannot deny that Obama is a Democrat and Congress is controlled by Democrats. They will make cuts in defense which many of us feel will damage our ability to maintain our military superiority. I made that point clearly in the post above and stand by it. Seems to me you are more interested in nit-picking over a point or two that is really not central to the key issue here. Now, have I answered your concerns to your satisfaction or do we need to spend more time debating the obvious? Reply Aqua on April 9, 2009 at 9:15 am Ron, it isn’t an increase because they are rolling war costs into the budget where Bush had the costs outside the DOD budget. As for the increases in other programs, I guess it depends on your point of view. We will be increasing conventional weapons spending at the cost of future weapons. The ABL (laser) has already been tested, albeit on the ground. The actual platform testing was going to be conducted this year. Now, even if it works, it’ll be scrapped. We can probably get by without the F-22, but it’s going to cost some jobs, not to mention air superiority. Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 9:45 am @Aqua said: ” not to mention air superiority.” That’s worth repeating: not to mention air superiority. Reply Hard Right on April 9, 2009 at 9:55 am 1) A lack of air superiority WILL cost American lives. 2) Gates is the scapegoat just as I said he would be. That’s one reason why he was asked to stay on. Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 9:59 am @Hard Right said: “Gates is the scapegoat just as I said he would be.” Absolutely right. And from the comments here it seems to be an effective strategy to deflect attention from the Democrats. Reply Ron on April 9, 2009 at 10:42 am To Mike: Okay I’m satisfied with your answers no need to go further. And Yes I know Obama and the majority of Congress are all Democrats. That was never my point or issue with your post. It’s just like the “Bush lied Mantra” that used to get tossed out by the libs when no WMDs were found. He didn’t lie because he didn’t know. But it was a sensational statement that stuck. I found your Headline and lack of other info in your post to be a bit sensational. It also felt cherry picked, but as Wordsmith mentioned on another post, this is a conservative political commentary website so I wouldn’t expect you to post anything favorable about Obama or Democrats. But sometimes there is more to a story than what is initially presented. That was the crux of my argument…but between trying to do my regular job (here where I am now) and posting on here I get side tracked. And then you had to go and call me naive without considering that isn’t really the case, but rather your defense mechanisms kicking in. Since I get a lot of my info from this website…then by default you all must be naive right? Of course not but I couldn’t resist making the point. And Mike I would think you would appreciate it when someone challenges what they read as opposed to someone who just soaks up any and everything you say and treats it as gospel. That’s just drinking the kool aid isn’t it? I was taught to question everything and except nothing at face value…..does that sound naive to you? I wasn’t being snarky I was being a dick….huge difference! Any way yeah I’m ready to move on so thanks for the response Mike. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 11:57 am @Ron: Well at least you admit you were being a dick. I’d say snarky dick but then I would be the one nitpicking, not you. I’ll tell you this: I have absolute certainty that if McCain had been elected or Bush still in office there would be NO CUTS in missile defense. I find the whole scheme, started by Larry above, to push this off onto Gates laughable. Democrats run the Dept. of Defense. Democrats run the White House. Democrats run the Congress. Logic clearly indicates that these are DEMOCRAT CUTS. Reply Ron on April 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm To Mike: Good point. I do agree with that assessment although I personally think Larry misspoke and meant to say that the programs being cut were more Gates idea than Obama’s rather than the concept of who wants the cuts. And I say that because Gates wrote a piece in Foreign Affairs Magazine back in the January/February issue outlining that the pentagon and military need to update it’s priorities as well as rethink modern warfare. He stressed a new emphasis on the type of warfare we are seeing in Iraq and Afghanistan and as such I do think Obama probably relied heavily on Gates to decide what should and shouldn’t be cut. After all the guy’s resume is mighty impressive. Plus Obama doesn’t know squat about the military so why not rely on a veteran like Gates. Obama may be inexperienced but I just don’t buy that he is a complete moron. He did manage to get himself elected after all. But anyway yes I’m really good at admitting when I’m being a dick or an ass or other such expletives because sometimes that’s the only way to get someone’s attention is to be a giant dick! Gimme a little credit, I did keep your attention through 34 posts didn’t I? Anyways I did enjoy the back and forth with you and look forward to a little sparring with you in the future. Have a good one. The “Dick” Ron Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm @Ron: Every time a new President takes office we have a re-evaluation of our military/political strategy. Even though my experience in this field and others has been likened to that of an employee at McDonald’s manning the drive-thru window, I do clearly recall my intense study of these matters at Columbia University with former National Security Advisor Zbig Brzenzski. It’s no surprise at all that Gates would undertake to implement the Obama plan for Defense and National Security. Gates accepted the job knowing full well who and what he was dealing with. Throughout his career Gates has been more a bureaucrat than a policy maker. Now, you did get my “attention through 34 posts” but you still failed to disprove my central thesis. You also accused me of thinly sourcing my post. Are you also unaware of the longterm Democrat opposition to missile defense since Reagan first proposed it? I’ll be happy to expand on that theme in future if you think I have assumed our readers were better informed. Reply Ron on April 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm To Mike: Well I still disagree ( and yes I’m still here). Your post was about the Dismantling Defenses by Democrats yes? Ok so you cite where they are cutting programs correct? ok but what you didn’t mention is where they are increasing funding for other programs such as more special forces, more Predator drones, more ships etc. Go back up the thread I listed them. They are not dismantling all our defenses. That simply isn’t true. How is increasing Special forces dismantling our defenses? Apparently you’ve forgotten the role Special Forces played in Afghanistan Mike. So you presented one side without the other so as to propose that the Democrats are simply cutting all these programs and making us less safe. That is misleading, sorry but it just is. They are cutting funding for things like missile systems but increasing in other areas Mike. The facts don’t lie. If in your opinion you feel that endangers us then fine. But present the whole story and not just your cherry picked version. To simplify it: Democrats cut spending on certain programs and increase spending in other programs. That is more accurate Mike. I can present the entire list of areas of INCREASE again for you if you like. You seem more interested in being right than accurate. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm @Ron: My point is that cutting programs like Missile Defense and the F-22 which offers air superiority MAKES US LESS SAFE. You can go ahead and cite where Dems have increased some defense programs all day long. But frankly, considering the average 80% increase in many departments under Obama’s spending spree a 4% increase in band-aids at DOD hardly suffices. The central point here Ron remains that Democrats are undercutting our defenses at the worst possible time. And frankly, you should have realized by now that I am both right and accurate and my opinions are based on education and experience. Remind me again Ron, WHO did you vote for in 2008? Reply ruaqtpi2 on April 10, 2009 at 4:14 am @Mike: “You also accused me of thinly sourcing my post. Are you also unaware of the longterm Democrat opposition to missile defense since Reagan first proposed it?” SPOT ON!!! I’m surprised this point didn’t come up much sooner in this thread. Democrats couldn’t allow ABL to progress to in-flight testing with real missles because that might just validate Reagan’s SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly referred to as the Star Wars defense initiative.) Everyone who joked about SDI would have to eat quite a bit of crow. Not to worry, though. Since the world leaders will be getting rid of those nasty nuclear weapons, there’s not going to be a critical need for missle defense. The Democratic Party really out to be the one represented by an elephant; these people don’t seem to forget anything (except the broken promises their leaders make.) Jeff V Reply Mike's America on April 10, 2009 at 7:07 am @ruaqtpi2: You might want to make it more clear that the sentence about “not to worry” was sarcasm. We have some folks around here that might think you were being serious. It’s my fault for assuming that people understood Dems have been opposed to missile defense. At F.A. we’ve posted the video of Obama saying he would cut missile defense on more than one occasion. I have also written about it numerous times: http://www.floppingaces.net/2009/03/03/obamas-goal-is-to-rollback-reagan-revolution-in-economics-and-national-security/#more-17774 http://www.floppingaces.net/2009/03/02/obama-to-give-russia-a-veto-over-us-missile-defense/#more-17733 http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/08/20/us-and-poland-sign-extended-defense-agreement/#more-6952 http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/08/14/consequences-grow-as-russias-invasion-of-georgia-continues/ http://www.floppingaces.net/2008/07/09/iran-missile-tests-highlight-differences-between-mccain-and-obama/ I thought everyone understood that and I should have been more aware that a number of folks may not be up to speed on the issue for a variety of reasons. My goal was to write a short post that did not resemble the World Book Encyclopedia and I suspect that even if I had answered that point more fully in the post it would have caused some of our commenters to just nit pick on another point instead. Reply bg on June 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm “Termination of the F-22 Raptor aircraft program. Only 187 of the 21st Century fighters will be built. Hardly adequate numbers to replace the aging fleets of 660 F-16’s and provide air superiority (and troop protection) in any future conflict.” Has the F-22 actually ever even been used in conflict? I mean we have 2 wars going on in Iraq and Afganistan, and it hasn’t seen any action there. If it was so important to “troop protection”, why no action? Reply Mike's America on June 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm @bg: I have no doubt we will wake up one day and wish we had built more F-22’s and B-2’s. The current situation reminds me of Britain in the 1930’s when they wrongly assumed that if they disarmed, the NAZIS would do the same. Reply Trackbacks/Pingbacks Big Dogs House - Obama Cuts Defense and Adds Illegals... 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