The very same people who spent us into fiscal insolvency have now decided that the way to recover budget savings in the coming years is to radically reduce the military and its effectiveness by reducing military spending dramatically. Certainly there are savings to be had within the military-industrial complex. But not like this.
Rep. Barney Frank’s Sustainable Defense Task Force claims to have found almost a trillion dollars that can be “saved” over 9 years by taking a meat axe to the services. Highlights, or lowlights if you prefer, of the 56 page document include:
-Reduction of the Navy from 12 planned aircraft carriers to 8 and 7 air wings.
-Reduction of the ballistic missile submarine force from the planned 14 to 6.
-Reduction of the nuclear attack submarines being built by half leaving 40 by 2020.
-4 active guided missile submarines cut.
-Freeze destroyer construction and cancel the DDG-1000 destroyer program.
-Reduce total fleet size from 287 combat ships to 230.
-Retire 6 Air Force fighter wings.
-Build 301 fewer F-35 fighters.
-Configure all nuclear strike bombers so they can only drop conventional munitions.
-Cancel additional C-17s and new refueling tanker project.
-Eliminate or curtail research on directed energy beam research and other advanced missile and space warfare defense projects.
-Slash the Army from 562,400 active duty personnel to 360,000 and eliminate approximately 5 brigade combat teams.
-Cut the Marine Corps by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000.
-Cancel V-22 Osprey program and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
-“Reset the calculation of military compensation and reform the provision of military health care” – which essentially means a reduction in pay and benefits of about $120 billion for the troops and their families.
Additionally the report unilaterally suggests the reduction of our Minuteman III nuclear deterrent missile fleet from 500 to 160 – something not required by the new START treaty.
As anyone can tell, this goes far beyond an attempt to “save” money. If all of these recommendations were accepted and passed into law, the US military would be virtually gutted, filleted and left to dry in the sun. It would essentially become a home defense force incapable of projecting the power necessary to protect its vital national interests or respond to treaty obligations. And it would leave the field wide open for super-power wannabes to make their moves.
In reality, the Frank report is the written form of an unrealistic but consistent liberal dream they’ve held close to their hearts for decades. While constantly mouthing the platitudes of supporting our military and the troops, they hold no real love for the institution or its role in our society. The real desire of the left and some Democrats is to reduce the military to a much smaller state, abandon our leadership role in the world and instead focus their efforts and our money on making the US a liberal utopia.
At this time there couldn’t be more misguided policy available even if we were to try and purposely think of one. Should the provisions of this study be put into practice, the US would go from being a protector of the free world to prey.