Opinion: Say No to Defense Cuts - PressFrom - US

OpinionSay No to Defense Cuts

18:15  07 december  2018
18:15  07 december  2018 Source:   nationalreview.com

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A "just say no " defense is a strategy used by boards of directors to discourage hostile takeovers by rejecting the takeover bid outright. After rejecting AT&T`s initial .08 billion -a-share tender offer, NCR's board of directors stated that they intended to "just say no " to the telephone giant.

President Obama and Secretary of Defense Gates are defending the indefensible, namely, defense . Against clamor to cut the Pentagon’s bloated budget coming from both Gates, who’d earlier warned that even modest cuts in the 2011 budget for defense could be “catastrophic,” said today that the

Say No to Defense Cuts© Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Kaila V. Peters/US Navy The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan under way in the South China Sea, August 2018.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Three key players are stepping up to protect the vital effort under way to rebuild America’s armed forces.

First, Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Mac Thornberry (incoming and outgoing chairman of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, respectively) published a piece in the Wall Street Journal blasting the idea of a cut in the defense budget.

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That said , if extremism in defense of liberty is warranted, it doesn’t quite follow that it’s okay to use any means necessary to that defense . So it would seem that the senator’s own example cuts against the sensible, charitable interpretation of the first half of his dictum, which is that all he was saying is that

Business + Economy. Share. Contractors Say Defense Cuts Mean Layoffs and Chaos. Boeing Co. says it has begun paring its workforce, consolidating manufacturing facilities and cutting overhead. The company’s defense division already shed about 8,000 of 60,000 jobs during the past 18 months.

Then over the weekend, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis cited the WSJ piece in arguing that the effort to restore American strength should not be sacrificed on the altar of deficit reduction. And in testimony to the defense subcommittee last week, Mattis said, “We all know here today that America can afford survival.”

Mattis was not overstating what is at stake. The threats to America’s vital interests are growing in every major global theater. I’m not talking about the danger of regional instability that temporarily depresses the stock market. I’m talking about the possibility of a devastating EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on the homeland or aggression by a great power against the sovereign right of the United States to move, trade, and travel on the same terms as other countries in sea, air, space, and cyberspace.

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Burke also said the cuts are unlikely to effect UK’s involvement in Afghanistan. “Let’s not forget that the reduction in personnel is not going to happen until 2015, at which point [UK’s] Ministry of Defense hopes to be finishing up in Afghanistan.” On Wednesday, the UK government announced further plans

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To take one example: The Chinese have asserted the rights of a hegemon in the East and South China Seas. They have turned pristine coral reefs there into artificial islands and turned the islands into military bases. They are signaling, by word and deed, the intent to treat their near seas as Chinese territory.

More than 50 percent of the world’s shipping moves through those waters. Does anyone believe that, if Beijing consolidates its control, it will resist the temptation to dictate the terms of commerce in its near seas in order to capture markets and enhance the economic growth on which the legitimacy of the regime depends?

Dealing with these growing threats is by no means only a question of restoring the military power of the United States. Other tools — such as the Trump administration’s trade policy — are also important. But it is crucial to understand that without the power to deter military aggression, the other tools will not have the time, space, and strength to work.

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Analysts say Carter’s expected remarks are designed to put pressure on the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May, which is considering yet another round of defense cuts . Sluggish economic growth, rising government debt and the feared impact of Britain’s exit from the European

The Defense Department is already required to cut 0 billion from its budget as part of an agreement that allowed President Obama to raise the debt One defense analyst said hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost. "It seems within the realm of possible," said Todd Harrison of the Center for

In fact, in the absence of sufficient hard power, use of other tools could actually increase the danger, because it would confirm to the aggressors that the United States was their adversary while tempting them to use the military option to advance their ambitions. That, at least in part, explains Vladimir Putin’s recent naked aggression against Ukraine: Putin is upset about Western sanctions and is expressing his displeasure by forcibly changing the facts on the ground, where the balance of power favors Russia.

The risk of opportunistic aggression is even greater where the Chinese are concerned, because their enormous military buildup has given them a decided military advantage in the Western Pacific. I’m all for the economic and diplomatic offensive that the Trump administration is waging against Beijing, but it runs the risk of convincing Xi Jinping to pursue his “China Dream” through outright aggression. And if he does, he’ll be a lot smarter about it than the Japanese were in December 1941.

We all understand the deficit concerns that are driving the latest moves to reduce defense spending. But that’s exactly what got us into this mess. For the past 20 years, and especially during the defense sequester, Washington has tried to reduce its short-term deficits by underfunding the armed forces, while at the same time ignoring the long-term structural budget issues that really are driving the government toward bankruptcy.

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Automatic cuts to beloved entitlement programs would force the Dems to compromise; automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget would do the same for the Also, just saying : in Danger Room's last big piece on the defense budget, we pointed out that Panetta had basically shifted the terms of the debate to

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned that the automatic spending cuts due to hit the Pentagon and other branches of government next week will damage U.S. national security. In a letter to Congress, he said those cuts would put the military on a path toward a "hollow force."

For both Republicans and Democrats, cutting defense is a lot easier than raising taxes or reducing the growth rate of the entitlement programs. But it has devastated the armed forces while enabling the political authorities to postpone confronting the growing shortfall between what the government collects and what it spends on Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. The result is that today America is neither solvent nor secure.

That’s the message that Mattis, Inhofe, and Thornberry are sending. Their jobs require them to live, every day and up close, with the gathering storm that is threatening our country. They know that the armed forces are the indispensable foundation of any effort to restore a margin of safety. They also know what most Americans don’t: that our servicemen and women, good as they are, do not have the numbers, inventory, and technological superiority they need to carry out their missions at an acceptable level of risk.

I don’t begrudge President Trump the frustration he no doubt feels with the fiscal demands of his program to rebuild the armed forces. He is trying to clean up a mess he did not create, and it’s taking more time, and a lot more money, than he would like. The defense-budget increases passed earlier this year were a good start, but as I said at the time, they were never going to be enough.

In short, the president cannot take his hand off the throttle now: He must fight to sustain and build on the increases in defense spending he has achieved thus far. His secretary of defense, and his allies in the Congress, need his continued strong support.

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