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by J. Randy Forbes
The American military is on the brink.
Not only are U.S. military leaders facing monumental budget challenges backed by minimal strategic guidance, they face shrinking forces armed with aging equipment that often fails to meet basic readiness standards.
Our military leaders have provided candid but alarming testimony on the specter of further cuts.
Making matters worse, the force's size has been declining since 1990.
Then, we had a 546-ship
Despite challenges our military faces today,
Some believe such expansive cuts can be achieved through little more than ending our current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This simply isn't true. Others want a smaller, regionally focused military, transforming the United States into simply "one among many." Some acknowledge budget cuts will reduce the military, but pretend this represents an "acceptable risk" with historical precedent. These advocates of a smaller military point to the late '90s and ignore the lessons learned at the outset of our current conflicts. Once a major crisis emerges or America is challenged on more than one front, our military will be far too small and casualties far too high. Instead of returning to defense planning schemes of the 1990s, the president and lawmakers would be wise to note the rapid military buildup of nations like China, as highlighted recently by Panetta, and the threat such nations pose to regional stability and enduring American influence.
When building our military, we buy an insurance policy to counter threats we can predict as well as those we cannot. Any other approach simply ignores history. Our leaders ought to drop the defense budget ax until we can truly grasp the consequences of decisions to cut defense spending.
Cutting Defense Spending Is Short-sighted | Politics
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