Jazon Ditz and John Glaser / Anti-War.com – 2011-11-23 00:44:54
The WW2 Canard: Pentagon Rails Against Fantasy Cuts
Instead of Offering Budget Plan, Pentagon Repeats Claims
Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com
(November 22, 2011 ) — If the “supercommittee” fails, the US will have its smallest military force since World War 2. This is the claim that hawks in general and the Pentagon spokesmen in particular have been pushing in an attempt to convince lawmakers, who really donâ€™t need all that much convincing when it comes to overspending, that the Pentagon should be immune from any serious “cuts.”
And by cuts, of course, we mean cuts in the rate of growth, as the previously announced cuts, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta still complains about at every conceivable opportunity, were taken out of future hypothetical spending increases, backloaded many years down the road.
The World War 2 claim is likewise nonsense, resting on numbers of troops instead of overall expenditures. The electronic, drone-happy US military of 2012 might only have the same number of guys as the force immediately post World War 2, but it will still have a dramatically larger inflation-adjusted budget.
Indeed, the “worst case” scenario, which Pentagon officials are treating as though it is going to cause the world to come to an end, is to bring spending to the level of 2007. The US military would still have a budget several times higher than any other military on the planet, and would rival the rest of the planet combined.
But reports suggest that Panetta et. al arenâ€™t even making preparations for how they would spend a 2007-size budget, and instead seem to be focusing their entire effort on ensuring that each new budget is the largest in the history of mankind.
Pentagonâ€™s Warnings Against Defense Cuts Are Overblown
John Glaser / Anti-War.com
(November 17, 2011) — For months the Obama administration has warned that any serious cuts to the defense budget would be harmful to national security, but any viable cuts would be minuscule.
The Pentagon expected to receive roughly $7 trillion over the next decade. Of that, it has already agreed to cut $450 billion, mostly targeting veterans health care and benefits, as well as the Pentagonâ€™s plan to buy 2,400 unnecessary F-35 fighters for $350 billion.
In the worst case scenario — that is, if the super committee fails to come up with $1.2 trillion in reductions to the overall budget by November 23 — the Pentagon would face a cut of $1 trillion over ten years. But the baseline defense budget was projected to grow by 26 percent over that time, so $1 trillion reduction would still result in a defense budget increase of almost 20 percent.
The automatic cuts in defense that would kick in if the super committee fails to come up with cuts, would merely trim Pentagon spending back to fiscal year 2007â€²s level, in 2013, allowing it then to rise with the rate of inflation for the rest of the decade.
The truth is that even if defense spending was cut in half tomorrow — an far more outlandish prospect than anything being proposed — the U.S. would still outspend every other country in the world on its military.
A report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments found that while the source of growth in annual defense budgets since 2001 has been mostly (54%) due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, much of the rest has been spent on wasteful superfluous weapons technology, bloated salaries and benefits plans, and expensive peacetime operating costs for the 900-plus military bases in 130-plus countries around the world.
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