The return of about $200 billion of the $500 billion cut from the military budget is the prime aim for Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee. As he struggles to align as many allies as possible in Congress, the commander in chief remains silent behind White House walls.
In 2009, Obama’s first year in office, after ramming the wasteful $800 billion “stimulus” package down our throats that created little if any real jobs, the White House directed $330 billion in defense cuts. The following year too another $100 billion in what was termed “efficiency” cuts. In 2011, Obama gathered another $487 billion from the Pentagon.
To date, Barack Obama has cut military spending by $920 billion (2009-11).
More Cuts to Come
He’s not over yet. Due to the “super committee” finding no common ground to agree on last summer, an automatic $55 billion more military cuts will be enacted this October 1st. That would push this administration’s total military cuts to $1.4 trillion. Although his own defense secretary terms this a “catastrophe” for the military, Obama has been silent on the matter. General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says these cuts will effectively create an environment where “the United States is no longer a global power.”
Is this what President Obama really wants?
Under the president’s “leadership” on this issue, the U.S. will only be prepared to fight a limited 21-day engagement while conducting an irregular crisis with 50,000 troops simultaneously. The bar will be lowered to proportions preceding WWII when the U.S. had fallen off the map as a military power in the world.
As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan cannot reverse these fiscal decisions alone. He, along with House Armed Services committee chairman “Buck” McKeon and Senators Kyl, McCain, Ayotte, Graham and Rubio, are among the very few taking this situation seriously enough to make efforts to rectify the previous cuts.
Democracy Is Not Safe
Just as it will take time to restore and balance the federal budget, the military cuts will take the same path in a dangerous world filled with small conflicts and mini wars. Many in Washington have the misleading idea that with U.S. troops out of Iraq and soon in Afghanistan, the world is safe for democracy.
Ryan’s approach is the only one pointed in the right direction. It represents a dramatic change since last year when conservatives, especially those newly elected to Congress, were bound and determined to cut everything and anything in sight. That included responsibilities such as national security.
Ryan and his group have taken the first steps necessary to restore the funding cuts over the past three years. In terms of any real opposition to their plans, you can hear a pin drop at the present time. It will be interesting to see who steps forward in protest. But with control of the Senate in the hands of Harry Reid and company, with the White House occupied by a liberal running for a second term, Ryan’s plans may well have to wait until after November’s election.
The United States may no longer be a global power
In the meantime, Republicans can remind the electorate that they are looking into ways to restore the military and our national security. In other words, the party looking out for the national interest.
That should get the White House’s attention.
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