The DC Examiner has an excellent editorial today on the Administration's hacking away at defense needs in their monstrosity of a $3.6 trillion budget.
It isn't the amount of cuts that is the main problem; it's where the president intends to realize his "savings:"
Defense News reported last month that Obama, quite bizarrely, made Department of Defense (DOD) officials sign a document pledging “strict confidentiality” on details of the 2010 defense budget. Why should the Pentagon’s budget options be any more confidential than, say, those of the State Department or the Department of Health and Human Services? Because Obama wants to hide the details of how he intends to slash defense spending 8.2 percent below the level planned under President George W. Bush. Until Congress howled, Obama even considered delaying by five more years the contract for a new generation of Air Force refueling tankers, to replace the creaking, half-century-old fleet. Replacing these ancient tankers has been the Pentagon’s most urgent procurement priority for at least a decade, now spanning three presidential administrations.
The very existence of Obama’s tanker trial balloon is symptomatic of his fundamental under-appreciation of American security needs as DOD approaches this year’s mandatory Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). “There's a pattern emerging that could subvert the QDR process,” Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret) Thomas McInerney, a widely read military expert, told The Examiner. “For instance, if you cancel the F-22 [fighter jet] line, or the combat search and rescue helicopter… or cancel much of the Future Combat System or even delay up to five years the tanker proposal, then you find that you may have gone from a two-war strategy to a one-war strategy…. What you are seeing across-the-board is that the Air Force and Navy are the bill-payers for an emerging ground-centric strategy, with only irregular warfare as the spotlight.”
Gutting the Air Force and Navy is stupid, short sighted, and dangerous. Our ability to project power to the far flung corners of the earth is wholly dependent on getting our troops to the battle zone as quickly as possible. For Desert Storm, we moved the equivalent of a small city thousands of miles to the middle of the Kuwaiti desert in less than 4 months. No other nation can come close to that kind of capability.
Compromising that ability will cause the thugs of the world to breathe a little easier and our friends to get a little nervous. But it appears that regardless of the threats we face, the Obama Administration is bound and determined to slash at programs vital to the future of our military - all so that he can have more money to enact his far left agenda.
A poor trade off if you ask me.