Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:26 PM
JaneQPublic (5,026 posts)
Generals: Get real and cut Pentagon spending
The two retired generals who wrote this CNN commentary suggest cutting the defense budget through eliminating spending driven by lobbyists, basing spending on current and future threats rather than Cold War ideology, eliminating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter money pit, and rethinking priorities rather than shelling out for every new gadget that comes along.
It is doubtful that future threats will call for many of the expensive weapon systems advocated by parochial interests and some political leaders -- a system such as the F-35 joint strike fighter. Developing this plane has cost more than was spent on veterans in the last 20 years.
Our nuclear weapons policy is based on Cold War conditions that no longer exist. The Pentagon is expected to spend more than $700 billion on nuclear weapons over the next 10 years, for little added security. The former U.S. Strategic Command Chief Gen. James Cartwright has called for a drastic cut in nuclear weapons, saying the U.S. has a stockpile "beyond our needs. What is it we're really trying to deter? Our current arsenal does not address the threats of the 21st century." The program is based more on ideology than security.
The political argument that cutting defense spending will cost jobs is spurious. Pentagon spending purchases one item and does not provide greater economic benefits. The F-35 program is slated to cost $1.5 trillion over its lifetime; these are resources that are desperately needed elsewhere or could pay down the national debt.
Instead of building new toys that are kept in the garage, let's provide education and job training to veterans. Recent congressional refusal to approve such a jobs program is a disgrace.
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