Wednesday, August 3, 2011

U.S. Military to Be Put on Short Rations

USA Today has an article by Tom Vanden Brook, "Debt deal could cut defense $900B over next decade," about the sacrifices the Department of Defense will have to make over the coming 10 years, as this is one government operation that President Obama definitely intends to downsize.

Cuts to defense spending in the debt reduction bill could total nearly $1 trillion over 10 years — more than double what President Obama had proposed earlier this year — and sap American military might worldwide, say analysts and members of Congress.

Budget cutters may have to consider slashing costly defense systems like the U.S. military's replacement fighter jet or increase health-care premiums for working-age military retirees to comply with a debt reduction deal that may cut as much as $900 billion from the U.S. military over 10 years.

"They could do this responsibly," said Todd Harrison, a budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "The reality is that it will be very difficult."

Thomas Donnelly, a military analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the Pentagon cuts won't require "long knives so much as chain saws...."

UPDATE: The National Review has an insightful article by Jim Lacey, "Don't Forget the Infantry," which states the well-known fact that whenever there are budget cuts in defense, the Army and Marine Corps usually get short-changed.

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