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The "When will Donald Trump leave office in disgrace?" Pool

 
 
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2017 06:09 pm
@TomTomBinks,
DEFENSE ONE
Congress Must Stop the Decline of Our Military Readiness


BY TOM COTTON
FEBRUARY 9, 2016

Here's what President Obama's final defense spending request should have included.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., President Barack Obama appeared to take a tougher tone against our enemies, making repeated public statements about all he was doing to counter the rise of ISIS and keep us safe. Regrettably, the defense budget he released today confirms that was all just empty rhetoric.

Specifically, the president’s fiscal 2017 budget request for national security and defense illustrates just how little he understands about what it takes to keep us safe and defend America’s place in the world. Now is the time for Congress to get serious about stopping the decline of our military readiness and ending the false choice—created by the Obama administration—between keeping America’s technical edge and maintaining a ready force.

First, let’s examine the numbers. The president admits we face many grave dangers today, yet the overall funding for the Department of Defense is $2.3 billion less than it was last year. And if you discount additional war funding, the president has requested a staggering $10.3 billion dollars less to sustain a military that is undergoing a manning, readiness, and modernization crisis—all in an time of elevated threat levels.

This budget is wholly ignorant of the very real threats to our security and our enemies are taking notice. Russia, identified by virtually every advisor to the president as the preeminent threat to the U.S., is attempting to rewrite the last 30 years of history by threatening our allies in Europe with massive military exercises that mimic invading sovereign nations. They are also deploying intermediate range nuclear weapons in Europe’s back yard and nuclear blackmail by targeting NATO allies such as Denmark if they join the U.S. missile defense shield.

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The president admits we face many grave dangers today, yet the overall funding for the Department of Defense is $2.3 billion less than it was last year.

Meanwhile, China is pursuing a multi-domain military build-up in the Western Pacific by making sandcastles in the South China Sea, which, along with air, naval, and missile architecture, will serve as a platform to gain air superiority, assert control of the sea, and threaten our regional bases and allies.

And both Russia and China are beefing up their nuclear capabilities far beyond normal levels, which threatens to undermine America’s strategic enterprise. Russia’s nuclear posture is inviting instability and miscalculation as Moscow violates the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, testing and possibly deploying missiles with ranges meant to target and blackmail European capitals. Similarly, if it has not already, China will likely field JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles soon that will allow them to target American cities, further eroding America’s nuclear deterrent.

Worse yet, Iran—the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror—continues to develop ballistic missiles that threaten U.S. forces and our allies in the Middle East. This rogue regime is an accelerant, if not the source of, every conflict in that region with malign influence today in five Middle Eastern capitals. Lastly, we cannot forget the global jihadist syndicate, led by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, that attacks western homelands, including America, and fuels conflict throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

These are complex unconventional threats. Confronting them will require a mix of asymmetric solutions supported by a credible conventional force that denies our enemies the freedom to act in any domain, as well as a nuclear force that can reliably punish our strategic adversaries.

Unfortunately, today our military is at a breaking point. Our soldiers and marines, fighter and bomber squadrons, submarines and aircraft carriers, and modernized nuclear forces simply cannot confront current threats. Former Army Secretary John McHugh recently testified that Army readiness is at the “ragged edge” of being able to execute ongoing missions. Air Force readiness is so poor that the president was forced to acknowledge the manpower shortage in this budget—but he still didn’t give them enough. And the Navy will experience the first prolonged aircraft carrier gap in the Arabian Gulf since 2007, as well as periodic gaps in the Western Pacific, two key theaters. Yet the president’s budget merely seeks to manage these declines rather than begin to reverse them. As a comparison, look back 25 years ago to 1991. At the beginning of Desert Storm, we had almost two million active duty members, all reporting excellent readiness levels. That’s 700,000 more troops than today. Our technological capabilities, including stealth and precision guided munitions, far surpassed the rest of the world. Today we have fewer assets, for example 55 fighter squadrons versus 134 in 1991, as our peer competitors inch closer to technological parity.

We cannot afford to waste time debating base defense funds versus overseas contingency operations.

A better path would be one that I outlined a year ago: to resource and build a military that is driven by our strategic interests and the threats we face, not one that conforms to arbitrary budget caps put in place five years ago. While key investments in game-changing technologies can offset the asymmetric capabilities of our adversaries, until some of these technologies mature, we must substitute finesse with brute force. This means maintaining a sizable, well-equipped force.

In addition, we should reinvigorate America’s nuclear triad by expeditiously moving ahead with acquisition of the Long Range Strike Bomber and the Long Range Standoff weapon. Combined with nuclear warhead modernization and resurrecting and sustaining nuclear weapons design capabilities, these actions would send an important signal about nuclear deterrence.

We should also invest more in platforms that will defeat adversaries’ anti-access/area denial capabilities. This means buying more attack and guided missile submarines to better match our adversaries numerically. We need to also maintain sea control by increasing the Navy’s aircraft carrier capacity by a third to at least allow a second carrier to patrol the Western Pacific. And we should significantly increase ship-to-shore capabilities ensuring we can transition when the fight moves from sea to land.

It makes little sense that a $350 polymer pistol currently takes years to get into the hands of our troops.
We should also advance the strike and surveillance battle network to dominate the enemy’s airspace by persisting with a modernization of all of our fighter aircraft, whether sustaining the F-35 buy or continuing to modernize fourth generation fighters such as the F-16. This also means dramatically increasing funding for programs such as the extended range version of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and proceeding apace with acquiring munitions such as the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile. Importantly, all of these weapons would be blind without the overlapping GPS, radar, and electronic warfare platforms such as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System.

In an ideal world we could protect and defend ourselves at safe distance from our enemies. But the reality is our soldiers will sometimes find themselves in close range to our targets. We should ensure these soldiers are equipped to carry out their missions by recommitting to the Army’s Future of Vertical Lift program and developing a true vision for the future of armored warfare. The Army must also prioritize infantry combat by buying and fielding small arms suitable to the contemporary battlefield and eliminating acquisition paradigms that only solidify or expand the defense bureaucracy while increasing costs to taxpayers. For instance, it makes little sense that a $350 polymer pistol currently takes years to get into the hands of our troops.

The simple truth is that the American military has always been the best and the brightest. We were our enemies’ worst nightmare and our allies’ favorite friend. Unfortunately, the impact of President Obama’s budgets and policies over that last seven years on military readiness means that is no longer the case. And this budget is no different. We cannot afford to waste time debating base defense funds versus overseas contingency operations, we need to ensure our military is prepared to stop our enemies and protect our national security.

Tom Cotton is a U.S. senator from Arkansas and a Republican. He sits on the Intelligence Committee, and the Armed Services Committee, where he chairs the Air Land Power Subcommittee. Cotton is a U.S. Army veteran and served two tours in the Iraq War.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2017 06:11 pm
@TomTomBinks,
I'm from NY.

I'm not a Federalist.

And please always remember each state is sovereign for a reason.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2017 11:13 pm
@TomTomBinks,
But they are only spending just shy of 600 billion dollars a year. We need to shut down Obama care and medicare and tax social security recipients so we can spend 1000 billion on defense. The rich have a need to get richer.
0 Replies
 
TomTomBinks
 
  2  
Reply Sat 21 Jan, 2017 11:33 pm
@giujohn,
Quote:

And please always remember each state is sovereign for a reason.

As I said, those days are behind us. Unity is our future.
izzythepush
 
  6  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 01:49 am
@Angelgz2,
America has the most right wing media in the Western World, only the delusional would think otherwise.
giujohn
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 07:29 am
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:

Quote:

And please always remember each state is sovereign for a reason.

As I said, those days are behind us. Unity is our future.


The unity occurred when we agreed to the CONSTITUTION. When we established the country we did not lose the States...And we never will. Your thinking is not future oriented, its horse and buggy.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 10:42 am
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:
Do you think today's military isn't ready for any challenge they're presented? I say they are ready, willing and able to defeat any enemy.

Actually no. Due to the cancellation of the F-22 fighter the United States is not capable of going head to head against a peer power at the present time.

We really need to resume the production of F-22s. We can pay for the cost of resuming production with a tax on liberalism and anti-war protests. That might give those thugs a bit of pause the next time they push to cripple the nation's defenses.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 10:44 am
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:
Maybe we should be considering eliminating State agencies to prevent redundancy. Why have 50 depts. of education when we can have 1? Why 50 separate health depts.? If you want efficiency this is the way to go.

That would take a constitutional amendment.

Good luck. They aren't easy to pass.
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 01:02 pm
@oralloy,
I'm not so sure you could even do that by amendment.
TomTomBinks
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 02:33 pm
@oralloy,
I'm not suggesting this happen in a year. I'm thinking long term. If you haven't noticed, the trend since the 1770's has been toward centralization. I hope it continues.
TomTomBinks
 
  3  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 02:35 pm
@giujohn,
Quote:
I'm not so sure you could even do that by amendment.


I don't think it will happen that way. The states will become less independent and less relevant until someday their power is no more than symbolic.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 03:31 pm
@giujohn,
giujohn wrote:
I'm not so sure you could even do that by amendment.

The main obstacle is that the federal government has no jurisdiction over that issue, and a constitutional amendment could grant that jurisdiction.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 03:33 pm
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:
I'm not suggesting this happen in a year. I'm thinking long term. If you haven't noticed, the trend since the 1770's has been toward centralization. I hope it continues.

Changes to the Constitution over that long term trend have only been via amendment.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 03:35 pm
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:
I don't think it will happen that way. The states will become less independent and less relevant until someday their power is no more than symbolic.

The only way to lessen the power of the states is via constitutional amendment. It can not happen any other way.
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 04:57 pm
@oralloy,
It can if they give up their power voluntarily. Or just don't use it. We wouldn't need a constitutional amendment if, for instance a state chose to reduce it's health department to just one token employee and leave the actual enforcement to the Federal Health Department.
0 Replies
 
TomTomBinks
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 04:58 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
Changes to the Constitution over that long term trend have only been via amendment.

The creation of most of our Federal agencies didn't require an amendment.
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  0  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 07:30 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

giujohn wrote:
I'm not so sure you could even do that by amendment.

The main obstacle is that the federal government has no jurisdiction over that issue, and a constitutional amendment could grant that jurisdiction.


Any such amendment would be in conflict with the 10th and found to be unconstitutional.
0 Replies
 
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Jan, 2017 08:38 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
America has the most right wing media in the Western


Of course. 80% of the media is owned by 5 multi billionaires. So why wouldent it be ultra conservative?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2017 04:59 am
@RABEL222,
You can blame Reagan for that, he was the one who removed the onerous burden of broadcasting facts.
RABEL222
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Jan, 2017 09:39 pm
@izzythepush,
I blame the conservative God for most of the problems in the conservative parties. He was the first Liar in Chief.
0 Replies
 
 

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