February 25, 2014

Hey America! You and what army?

Chuck your liberal stripes are showing. 

Chuck Hagel, the indefensible Defense Secretary of the United States, realizes that the United States is facing unprecedented international challenges and existential threats.  His solution?  Gut the military.  I mean, really gut it.  Yeah, that'll work.

Saying it was time to "reset" for a new era, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended shrinking American forces from 520,000 active duty troops to between 440,000 and 450,000.

In a speech outlining the proposed defense budget, he said Monday that after Iraq and Afghanistan, US military leaders no longer plan to "conduct long and large stability operations."

If approved by Congress, the Pentagon move would reduce the army to its lowest manning levels since 1940, before the American military dramatically expanded after entering World War II.
Don't expect Congress to go along with this. The question though is how Hagel sees the logic in this.  The explanation lies in this bit:
The Pentagon had previously planned to downsize the ground force to about 490,000.

But Hagel warned that to adapt to future threats "the army must accelerate the pace and increase the scale of its post-war drawdown."
There's the problem. Hagel thinks that to face future threats, the army must be weakened. There is no logic in this. The last time America''s military was as small as Hagel wants it to be, what happened? Pearl Harbor happened.

This is not to say that in order to get America's burgeoning debt under control that military spending cuts don't need to play a part, they do. But Hagel is being disingenuous when he says that smaller means stronger. It simply doesn't. Being Secretary of Defense his role is to argue for the strongest, most effective military force possible. He is abdicating his responsibility arguing any other position. Especially when he is doing so in such a transparently ineffective fashion.

All of that without even getting into the economic impact of reducing military personnel, shutting bases, mothballing aircraft etc.  There will be serious consequences if this happens.  my suspicion though is that the Obama administration doesn't want this to happen anyway.  It's all about getting Republican's on record for opposing spending cuts after they have been howling for years about Obama's profligate spending.  With his tried and true approach of throwing it back at Republicans and saying they have offered no alternatives (the same canard he keeps using on Obamacare), he can argue to voters going into the midterm elections that this is proof that Republicans don't mean what they say.  That's a powerful weapon to help stem the tide of a possible electoral bloodbath for Democrats in Congress.  With a complicit media, it might work.
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