Intentional national suicide just shifted into fourth gear.
President Barack Obama will sharply cut ships, aircraft, and troops as part of a major reduction of U.S. military forces that will face even steeper downsizing in 2016, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Monday.
The defense cuts, to be announced formally in the president’s budget proposal next month, would reduce U.S. ground forces to their lowest level since World War II at a time when world threats are increasing.
Several new weapons systems will be slashed and older weapons retired.
The military cutbacks have been a central feature of Obama’s policies since 2009. According to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in his recently published book Duty, since entering office, the president has worked to cut U.S. defenses in order to use the funds for domestic programs.
Hagel said the defense reductions will pose new national security risks for the United States in the future. They also have forced the Pentagon to face the prospect of losing America’s position as the most dominant military power in the world.
The force reductions when combined with the spread of advanced weapons around the world signal “we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and in space can no longer be taken for granted,” the defense secretary said.
The military impact will include diminished training and maintenance and increased stress on forces. It also will result in “diminishing our global readiness even as we sustain a heightened alert posture in regions like the Middle East and North Africa,” Hagel said.
The cuts will also increase the “risk of uncertainty in a dynamic and increasingly dangerous security environment,” he added.
In particular, advanced weapons of “other powers” will make it more difficult for the military in dealing with those threats, including anti-air and anti-ship weapons, he said.
China confirmed last month that it conducted the first flight test of an ultra-high-speed maneuvering vehicle that can be used to deliver nuclear warheads and to defeat U.S. strategic missile defenses.
Hagel said the cuts also would reduce the ability of U.S. military forces to conduct more than one major military conflict in the world at the same time, something that could potentially trigger an outbreak of global conflict.
Hagel said Navy plans for Littoral Combat Ships, designed for mine-sweeping and anti-submarine warfare near coasts, are being limited to 32 ships, amid concerns the warships would not survive against advanced Chinese weaponry.
The Navy will examine producing an alternative small warship similar to a frigate instead of more Littoral Combat ships.
Six warships would be mothballed in 2016 and the rate of building new destroyers would be slowed, he said.
American Enterprise Institute scholar Mackenzie Eaglen said the latest defense cuts will continue to weaken the U.S. military and its technological edge.
“President Obama is submitting another defense budget that essentially seeks to cash in a peace dividend in a world with little peace,” she said. “His own director of national intelligence recently told Congress that in over a half century, he has not experienced a time when the U.S. has ‘been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.’”
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, said of the proposed cuts that they are “continuing on its path of unilateral disarmament that was started by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in April 2009.”
“This action announced today will escalate the demise of our military unilaterally and we still have no strategy for defeating radical Islam after 9/11. This is very dangerous,” he said.
Full article: End of American Military Dominance (Washington Free Beacon)