T Nation

2012 Defense Appropriations Bill


#1

Now read it!

You hear about it every year. Not too many links to it to let you read it. If you've got the spare time, or have trouble getting to sleep, check out the 2012 defense appropriations bill and see where the money is going, or where they've cut it. Its long (that's what she said), 900+ pages so don't kill any small rainforests trying to print it out.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1540rh/pdf/BILLS-112hr1540rh.pdf


#2

'Defense accounts for less than 20% of the federal budget but is already bearing half the deficit-reduction cuts, while domestic spending is exploding. Targeting defense merely keeps politicians from dealing with the real deficit drivers. Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security over the next few decades will consume the entire federal budget even if defense is taken to zero.'

'Misguided assumptions:

CLAIM: Just Taking Another Peace Dividend: The U.S. dramatically reduced defense spending after the Cold War. Since then, the military has been living off the build-up under Ronald Reagan. Defense increases after 9/11 were largely spent on 10 years of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, not modernization or recapitalizing forces(i.e., new planes, ships, or weapon systems). Today, the military is in dire need of repair, not another "peace dividend."

CLAIM: Large-Scale Stability Operations Are a Thing of the Past: The U.S. is returning to ground-force levels under President Clinton, when the Army struggled to perform even relatively small-scale missions like Kosovo and Bosnia. Going down this path again is dangerous.

CLAIM: We Can Maintain Deterrence While Reducing Nuclear Weapons: Cutting nuclear capabilities while cutting conventional ones makes no sense. Eisenhower cut conventional forces but bolstered our nuclear deterrent to cover smaller forces. There is no evidence that U.S. disarmament leads to less proliferation. Since 1991, the U.S. has eliminated roughly 73% of its nuclear stockpile, yet the number of nuclear-weapon states has grown.

Source: http://www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/2012/01/obamas-new-defense-guidance


#3

^^Ok, so what are your thoughts?


#4

Europe needs to take of itself. Same with the Sunni Muslim world. We need nuclear deterrence in Europe not 50,000+ forces in Germany. Cut 'entangling alliances' in the ME where possible - i.e. Pakistan, Egypt etc. Just some thoughts.


#5

@ SexMachine, once again,

 First of all, the military isn't so much "in dire need of repair" as it is in dire need of modernization. Given that many of the enemies that we are/will be fighting are totally inferior to our upper-echelon weaponry, certain "planes, ships or weapons systems" will become obsolete and/or unnecessary, hence the degradation of some programs and projects. This is simply a reality that cannot be reversed without an entire upheaval of our foreign policy.

Secondly, our ground-troop levels aren't a very appropriate reason for our failures in Kosovo and Bosnia, nor is this relationship very comparable to troop levels today and our chances for success in any number of potential hotspots in the Middle East/Central Asia.

Thirdly, regarding the claim about nuclear disarmament and nuclear proliferation as a function of one another, or rather not as a function of one another: In the face of both nuclear armament acceleration and deceleration we have not seen a single nuclear attack since WWII, more than 66 years later. So why should I believe there's any concrete relation, in a vacuum, between nuclear proliferation, nuclear disarmament and the chances of another nuclear episode in the near or not-so-near future?


#6

That's not what the defence cuts are about. And the fact that US industry can't produce to a timetable means that the next fighter jet is obsolete before the prototype has been built. Unrelated to the defence cuts though.

That's not the point they were making.

The point was merely that in the 90's under Clinton there were barely enough forces to deal with Bosnia. And that it would dangerous to be in that position again in light of the current defence requirements.

I'm not going to go down that path. The Soviet Union came within a hair's breath of launching a strike. Iran is not the Soviet Union. You believe they're less likely to do it than the Soviet Union? If you want to believe that then that's up to you.


#7

I think it's INFINITELY less likely that Iran launches a nuke against the U.S. than the chances of the Soviets launching one were. And besides, the Soviet Union may have come within a hair's breadth of a launch, but they didn't launch it and it was diplomacy (I assume you refer to the Cuban Missile Crisis) that prevented it from happening, not increased nuclear proliferation or disarmament. In fact, if anything it was disarmament that led to the end of that episode since removal of the missiles came with the agreement to remove similar missiles of the U.S.'s in Turkey. Of course you're not going to go down that path. It's WAY too simplistic and insufficient to simply claim that there is a direct correlation between nuclear proliferation and the chances of an attack. There is infinitely more to it than that and each separate case is its own unique example that has little to do with unrelated episodes in the past. Our nuclear arms race with Russia has NOTHING to do with and no correlation with anything going on in Iran right now.

And let's just stop with all this "defense" spending bullshit. The sort of shit that people are flipping out about being cut from the military's budget isn't even used for defense. It's pure offensive weaponry. Who the FUCK is going to attack us with the kind of shit that we need an F-22 Raptor (which has never been used in any combat scenarios)? China? And wipe out not only us but the entire world economy as well? I don't think so.