Mr. Panetta, a former White House budget chief, acknowledged in an interview that he faced deep political pressures as he weighed cuts to Pentagon spending, which has doubled to $700 billion a year since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He said that meeting deficit-reduction targets might require another round of base closings, which could be highly contentious as members of Congress routinely fight to protect military deployments and jobs in their communities.
Yes the budget has doubled. Could it possibly be because we've been in a WAR for the last goddamn decade? Gee ya know what? "I THINK SOOO" Could it also be that closing bases is a bad idea? ayup.
Among other steps, Mr. Panetta said, Pentagon strategists were looking at additional cuts in the nuclear arsenal, with an eye toward determining how many warheads the military needed to deter attacks.
The only thing that's keeping our fellow nuclear armed COUNTRIES that don't like us from being stupid is the sure and certain knowledge that if they hit us..we WILL glass them over. Every cut in the arsenal, takes away from our ability to do that to multiple targets. Hell they're not even looking at ways to IMPROVE the arsenal AFAIK.
Mr. Panetta also held out the possibility of cutting the number of American troops based in Europe, with the United States compensating for any withdrawal by helping NATO allies improve their militaries. That effort would free up money so the United States could maintain or increase its forces in Asia, a high priority for the Obama administration, and sustain a presence in the Persian Gulf after the withdrawal from Iraq this year, he said.
Got no trouble with this one by and large so long as we keep naval and air force bases. Army feel free to bring home. My other problem is if the bring all this equipment home, and bring all these troops home..odds are the troops will be discharged in the interests of saving money, and "cutting the budget" Adding to an already bad unemployment percentage. The OTHER part of the problem is that they closing the bases and then helping the Europeans with their military is bureaucrat/diplo speak for "yep we're going to slash the budget by bringing home all these troops, discharging them, storing the equipment somewhere if we don't sell it for scrap, and then take ALL the money we SAVED and GIVE it to the Europeans to spend on a by and large...useless military of their own." You think I'm wrong? I think you're naive. So we'll call that one a draw.
If the committee deadlocks and fails to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, then automatic cuts go into effect and the Pentagon could face an estimated $500 billion in additional reductions over the next decade.
Mr. Panetta has called those additional cuts potentially ruinous. In that view, he has allies in Congress, especially Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, who are preparing legislation that would undo the automatic across-the-board cuts for military programs, or exchange them for cuts in other areas of the federal budget. The defense secretary’s stated views could well put more pressure on the committee to come up with a deal.
I'll give Panetta credit for explaining the obvious to the terminally short sighted and STUPID. He's right. Those kinds of cuts would do serious damage our ability to defend ourselves. Which is what I believe that some people WANT. Think I'm wrong? Again..I think your naive at best..willfully blind at worst. I win.
“We’re going to be developing a smaller, lighter, more agile, flexible joint force that has to conduct a full range of military activities that are necessary to defend our national interests,” he said. “So even though they’re going to be smaller and lighter, we’ve got to make sure they always maintain a technological edge"
IOW the troops are going to have to do more with less? That remains to be seen.
n what he described as the most sensitive of the potential cuts facing an all-volunteer force, Mr. Panetta said the Pentagon was considering raising fees for the military’s health insurance program, Tricare. Today, military retirees and families, who are guaranteed Tricare for life, pay only $460 a year in fees — far below what they would pay if they worked for a private employer — although a modest increase for new enrollees began last month.
Right..they've put their asses on the line for you, many came home with lifelong debilitating injuries and...your going to make them pay more for the privilege of being taken care of by a system that even those who work for it, and love the work they do. will admit is kinda screwed up. Not surprising it IS run by the federal government after all.
The White House and Pentagon have made clear that Tricare fee increases would be phased in over a few years and would affect current retirees and troops serving today when they retire. Health care costs for the Pentagon, the nation’s largest employer, total $50 billion a year, or about a tenth of its base budget. Ten years ago, health care cost the Pentagon $19 billion, equal to about $25 billion in today’s dollars.
Wow. could it POSSIBLY be because so many of them came back with debilitating, some temporary and fixable and some lifelong and permanent, injuries in the last DECADE of war? I think sooo.
In potential reductions to major weapons systems, Mr. Panetta said he was considering cutting the purchases of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a radar-evading jet for the Air Force, Navy and Marines that is projected to cost nearly $400 billion for more than 2,400 planes over the next two decades. He suggested he might slow or cut back production, although the final decision may be to protect that jet program and identify cuts in other weapons purchases.
Yes Panetta, protect those planes. We NEED them. if we don't keep the technological edge in the air and at/under the sea.....well then as they say in hebonics "Weeze be fucked".
The entire article is here