COMMENTARY | While the upcoming Obama budget proposal is going to constitute an “end to austerity” (whatever that means), that will not be true of the military. Indeed there will be nothing but austerity for the military, especially the Army.
The Army is going to be cut to the lowest level it has seen since just before World War II. The New York Times acknowledges what is likely to be the effect.
“The officials acknowledge that budget cuts will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries.”
In other words, Obama defense cuts are going to be paid for with American blood and treasure. It is a signal to America’s enemies that they now have free rein to make trouble.
Why does this always happen with a liberal administration? Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton slashed the military. The trouble resulted. In Carter’s case, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian hostage crisis resulted; in Clinton’s case, 9/11.
Whoever is planning to run for president, at least on the Republican side, had better start making plans for repairing the damage and enacting a military buildup. By the time the Obama administration is history, the United States is likely going to face a number of crises that it will be ill equipped to face. Whether it’s Chinese imperialism or some dust up in the Middle East, the diminishing of American power inevitably will lead to trouble.
Of course Congress may reject the Obama defense slashes out of hand. It would be well advised to do so. Democrats especially should be worried. Aside from economic malaise, nothing threatens elected Democrats more than a foreign crisis on the watch of a Democratic president. If only for that, if nothing else, congressional Democrats should stand up to their president.