The Defense Drumbeat Blog

“It’s so big [the defense budget] that you can make relatively modest changes to defense that end up giving you a lot of headroom to fund things like basic research or student loans or things like that.”    -President Obama, July 6, 2011

“I Cannot Support the Gang of Six Proposal”: President Obama has now embraced the so-called “Gang of Six” plan that would slash $886 billion from national security spending. Chairman McKeon has rejected these severe cuts, declaring in a memo to fellow members, “I cannot support the Gang of Six proposal,”  which would exacerbate existing readiness woes and hinder fulfilling the federal government’s most basic constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense.

Military Already Doing More with Less: $886 billion in cuts is unthinkable given the current state of our national defense. Our force is stressed from fighting for over a decade.  This is a startling look at our force structure. With the military already fighting three wars, some want to cut further.

 

1990

2000

Today

Army Brigades

76

42

45

Navy Ships

546

316

288

USAF Fighter Squadrons

82

52

39

Strategic Bombers

360

208

154

 

 

Average Age (Years)

Amphibious Assault Vehicle

35

Light Attack Vehicle

20

Navy Ships

19

Army CH-47 Helicopters

16

Strategic Bombers

34

Tanker Aircraft

47

Airlift Aircraft

19

 

Defense Has Already Been Cut: The Defense Department is doing its part to cut spending, finding $178 billion in savings over the next five years- while still fighting to protect America. As the Washington Times points out, “Since President Obama originally submitted his fiscal 2011 budget, defense spending has been cut by $439 billion over 10 years.” No other agency has been as proactive in identifying savings and cutting back.

Defense Is Not Causing the Deficit: As it stands, defense spending as a share of GDP and as a share of the overall federal spending is already at historical lows. Defense has been steadily cut over the past three years, while the deficit has only grown larger.

The President has already cut national security as our military is strained and stressed. We cannot afford more “modest changes.”

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