The effects of the Budget Control Act are immediate and unquestionably severe. There is already a crisis in military readiness – in the fundamental measures of defense preparedness – which are are about to bloom into a larger problem both of force size and weapons modernization, a shrinking of capacity and decline in relative capability.
This event continues a unique collaboration among these institutions that began during the 2012 presidential campaign season. Past conversations covered the US role in the world, US policy in East Asia, and the US national security budget.
Whether it’s “pivoting” or “rebalancing,” the Obama administration’s unceasing efforts to turn retreat into a virtue – particularly when it comes to the Middle East – have become a distinguishing feature of this president’s national security strategy.
The North Korean Kim family may be a little bit crazy, but they’re not buffoons. They’re not irrational, just– as the therapeutic community might put it – “differently rational.” The investments they’ve made in a crude nuclear capability have repaid huge dividends.
There is a growing presumption in the West that war dehumanizes those who experience combat, or, in more extreme expressions, even those who only serve in the military. In this country, for example, journalist Robert Koehler writes of war itself as a "disease," one that produces a nearly infinite variety of violent "symptoms."
Even if managed “rationally,” a further reduction of 10 percent per year for the next decade, coming on top of the cuts already made in the past, will have, in my judgment, a crippling effect on the American military, on the United States’ ability to shape a peaceful, prosperous and free world, and ultimately, on our national security.
The collapse of Pentagon buying power has sparked renewed interest in defense “reform.” But no conceivable amount of reform can possibly make up for the deep cuts in recent years or even the losses that would result from sequestration. The numbers simply don’t add up.