May 8, 2014
Defense expert Max Boot shows in his recent op-ed how our nation’s servicemen and women will suffer under reduced defense funding. He argues that “it is obvious that there is nothing unaffordable about maintaining a military strong enough to carry out the nation’s commitments.”
America’s military preeminence has resulted from U.S. superiority in technological advancement, availability of equipment, and exceptional training of our forces. Currently, defense cuts are stripping the U.S. military of these defining qualities.
However, this trend of diminished capabilities under the pressures of budget cuts and sequestration began before this proposal.
Beginning as early as 2009, the Obama Administration began its push to downsize the U.S. military, in effect ignoring the reality that the world is still a dangerous place. As demonstrated by the Administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2013, cuts to defense spending seek to shrink the size of the U.S. armed forces, not just eliminate waste. Recently, the Department of Defense released its FY 2015 Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding, which revealed that military operations and maintenance will receive the second largest cuts.
Boot draws attention to a myriad of defense cuts in this upcoming year, among them the most significant of the reductions: those made to the Army. New cuts will demand that the Army reduce its forces to 440,000 to 450,000; however, if sequestration is not repealed, force levels will fall to 420,000 active-duty soldiers. Under these new cuts, the U.S. military will be operating at a level consistent with pre–World War II lows.