These are interesting times we are living in folks... interesting times indeed.
North Korea is test firing rockets. Iran is trying to make a nuke. The Taliban is declaring an endless war. The Venezuelans are very loudly shaking their fists (as that is juuuuust about as much a threat as a third world banana republic can muster). And the Russians are signaling a return to Cold War aggressions.
So in the face of these threats and assaults, how does the shining light of Liberty and defender of free peoples the world over reply?
By cutting our defense budget.
Monday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested wide ranging budget cuts to the high tech weapons programs while handing his new budget to Congress. Gates called the move a "fundamental overhaul" of the defense budget and a shift from conventional wars to wars filled with guerilla combat and persistent insurgencies. Of course the Defense budget fails to mention that this shift to small combat forces stemmed directly from our high tech weapons which give us the air and sea dominance which America so enjoys, not to mention the severe economic damage that could stem from the budget cut.
Lockheed Martin, developers of the F-22 (which would have their production halted under Gates' budget) has already come out and stated that such a cut would cost 90,000 American jobs.
Congress seems torn on the matter. Many Democrats and some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), feel that Gates' plan is a "major step in the right direction". Republicans, like Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) feel that the plan is wreckless, saying that they are "...disappointed that the President was looking to cut military budgets in a time of war."
In these tough times all of us have to learn to do with less. And while one would think that in the Federal budget there would have to be a million items where the cuts would be more useful than a cut in the military. And as all of our enemies know, the military game is a game with but one simple rule: He who finds the most efficient way to kill the most people wins. For America to even hint that it is thinking about letting another country blow up our number one spot is a grave, grave mistake. Is it impossible to cut military spending? Of course it is. When Obama pulls out of Iraq next week that will save our nation billions of dollars. I fear that the for our nation, in a time of war, the message being sent to our troop in harm's way by our government when they cut the budget is a loud and resounding "Fuck You!"