The United States military has a major presence worldwide. We have the most dominant force and by far are the most advanced. There are soldiers and troops in over 150 countries across six continents. That does not count for all of the soldiers based on naval ships that constantly travel the oceans going country to country. With all of the soldiers, military equipment, testing, and research and development, the military’s cost has been averaging over 500 billion dollars annually. There has been an ongoing debate on whether or not to cut the military’s budget.
On August 2, 2011, The Budget Control Act was signed into law to try and decrease our national debt by 2 trillion. Starting on January 2, 2012, the military will cut spending by 54. 7 billion for the next nine years. Gary Bass is the founder of OMB, and has a doctorate in psychology and education from Michigan University. Baker Spring has a master’s degree in national security from Georgetown University. He specializes in examining the threat of ballistic missiles. There is a lot of speculation if the budget should be cut or not.
It would reduce the current number of soldiers, number of naval ships, and the military’s spending. Secretary Gates has announced that the proposal will reduce the Army personnel by 27,000 positions and the Marine Corps anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 positions. This is a 5% reduction for the Army and nearly a 10% reduction for the Marine Corps. Naval ships will be confined to only 254 ships compared to the 284 ships that are active now. This will also take away two Air Force tactical air wings.
All the reductions and decrease in size will lead to smaller structures internally and externally. Our military fights as one big unit, if positions start getting pulled; troops will start fighting with numbers that will require more individual tasks. If we do not have the force and size that we have now, that may lead to vulnerability. This will not only put citizens in danger, but also threat our National Security. Another dilemma we may face is that if there is a global threat, we will not be able to respond if we have major forces in other countries due to the lack of soldiers on hand.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, supporters say it is time to cut back the military to rebuild the United States. The U. S. is spending money, resources, and labor in different parts of the world and now is the time to bring it all back home to try and fix our troubled economy. According to ombwatch. org, the United States spends about five times as much on defense as the next biggest spender, China, and about $100 billion more than then next ten nations combined. A $55 billion reduction in defense spending would mean that we would still outspend the next ten top defense spenders combined by $45 billion.
Even with the cuts to our military, the budget will be larger than it was at the end of George Bush’s terms. “The Pentagon will still be spending more in 2013 after sequestration than it did in 2006, at the height of the Iraq war,” noted Lawrence Korb, who served as assistant defense secretary under President Reagan. Many say that America is on the verge of going over the fiscal cliff. A fiscal cliff is when a number of laws go unchanged result in spending cuts, increased taxes, and getting even deeper into national debt. By having budget constraints, it will cause to look more into priorities first.
The way it is now, the military has no limit on funds allowing them freely to blow money on testing or research on new technology not yet needed when they can use that money on actual equipment needed. The military could also use that money to fix up or to repair older equipment. Lastly, America needs to focus less on global dominance, also called hegemony. In the state of our economy, we cannot afford to keep going into other countries and waging wars going on for years at times. Both sides of this controversy of cutting the military budget have excellent points.
The supporters believe if we cut back the amount of soldiers, it will allow the military to be more strategic and well rounded. Also, if we cut back the money the military spends, we can put that money back in our economy and start to rebuild our nation. With all of the fiscal problems in our country, we should focus less on global dominance and more about reconstructing our economy. I am against the military budget cuts. For the ones against the cuts, reducing the amount of money available to the military will leave us more vulnerable and weaken us as a nation whole because of the lack of soldiers.
The cuts will reduce the amount of soldiers in the army and the marines and also will decrease the amount of active ships and carriers. On top of that, there will be a reduction of weapons and ammo due to lack of funds. “Military Budget Cuts. ” Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 27 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. “Automatic Defense Cuts No Threat to National Security | OMB Watch. ” Automatic Defense Cuts No Threat to National Security | OMB Watch. N. p. , n. d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. “Send This Report to a Friend. ” US Defense Cuts and Spending. N. p. , n. d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012.