Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Tick Tick Tick

That time bomb you're hearing isn't the growing threat of China, but the threat of fiscal irresponsibility. Via defensetech:
Now, the Pentagon is "looking to cut between $13 billion and $15 billion from the U.S. Department of Defense’s 2007 budget," Defense News notes. And after all those billions spent on Katrina and on another year in Iraq, there are indications that the men in uniform might be a little less reluctant about paring back their budgets this time around.

Senior Navy officials -- facing a possible $18 billion trim over the next six years -- are "weighing cuts to big-ticket programs such as the DD(X) destroyer, the Marine Corps’ variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and the LHA(R) amphibious ship," says Inside the Navy.
If the Chinese manage to ever get naval parity with the US, this will be the reason why - Bush's abuse of the US treasury has made it necessary to start cutting even the sacred cow that is the US military.

Now, in reality these cuts probably won't amount to a serious degradation of the Navy's capabilities - $6 billion a year in a $400 billion budget isn't that much. Lawrence Korb has been advocating major cuts to the US military for a decade now - cuts that would have no effect on the military's actual readiness.

It's also worth pointing out how bad an idea it is to start cutting away at the navy. If you seriously want to project global power, there's no better way than to have a major navy. The US Air Force is nice, but it's still based in countries that can evict it. We saw this earlier this year in Uzbekistan. Attempting to "evict" the US Navy from the Pacific is a much more complicated, and painful, procedure - as the Japanese learned.

Of course, if the Japanese had just waited for the Bush administration, they wouldn't have had to bomb Pearl Harbour. If things keep going the way they are, the US might have to sell the Pacific fleet just to cover the debts to Japan, China, and Taiwan.

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