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Panel commissioned by Barney Frank recommends nearly $1T in defense cuts

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A panel commissioned by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is recommending nearly $1 trillion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget during the next 10 years.

The Sustainable Defense Task Force, a commission of scholars from a broad ideological spectrum appointed by Frank, the House Financial Services Committee chairman, laid out actions the government could take that could save as much as $960 billion between 2011 and 2020.

Measures presented by the task force include making significant reductions to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which has strong support from Defense Secretary Robert Gates; delaying the procurement of a new midair refueling tanker the Air Force has identified as one of its top acquisition priorities; and reducing the Navy’s fleet to 230 ships instead of the 313 eyed by the service.

Shipbuilding has strong support in the congressional defense committees, which write the Pentagon bills. Efforts to reduce the number of ships would run into resistance from the Pentagon and the shipbuilding lobby.

Frank on Friday warned that if he can’t convince Congress to act in the “general direction” of the task force recommendation, “then every other issue will suffer.” Not cutting the Pentagon's budget could lead to higher taxes and spending cuts detrimental to the environment, housing and highway construction.

The acceptance of the recommendations would depend on a “philosophical change" and a “redefinition of the strategy,” Frank said at press conference on Capitol Hill.

He said the creation of the deficit reduction commission offers the best opportunity for the reduction recommendations. Frank wants to convince his colleagues to write to the deficit reduction commission and warn that they would not approve any of the plans suggested by the commission unless reduction of military spending is included.

The task force has looked at various options to trim the Pentagon’s budget in order to reduce the deficit. Those include a reduction in Army and Marine Corps end-strength by cutting back on personnel stationed in Europe and Asia; and rolling back Army and Marine Corps personnel as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

The panel also looked into reforming military compensation, which could save about $55 billion; saving $60 billion by reforming the military healthcare system; and reducing recruiting expenditures once the wars wind down to preserve about $5 billion.

All of these recommendations would be expected to engender congressional opposition.

The task force also suggested canceling the V-22 Osprey program and the Marine Corps’s troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

The U.S. nuclear arsenal would also be on the chopping block, under the panel’s suggestions.

The task force recommends reducing the U.S. nuclear warhead total to 1,050.

Launchers would include 160 Minuteman missiles and seven Ohio-class submarines with 24 missiles (each with five warheads).

The panel also recommends retiring the Air Force bombers — “the bomber leg of the nuclear triad,” which includes land-based missiles and nuclear submarines — and ending work on the Trident II missile.

Frank acknowledged Friday that making cuts to the military’s healthcare system, known as Tricare, would be a “non-starter” with his congressional colleagues. But he said that suggestions on how to handle the nuclear arsenal and missile defense could get a “great deal” of support on the Hill.

Frank requested the creation of the task force in cooperation with Reps. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The Project on Defense Alternatives coordinated the work of the task force, which included the following members: Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives; Benjamin Friedman, Cato Institute; William Hartung, New America Foundation; Christopher Hellman, National Priorities Project; Heather Hurlburt, National Security Network; Charles Knight, Project on Defense Alternatives; Lawrence J. Korb, Center for American Progress; Paul Kawika Martin, Peace Action; Laicie Olson, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; Miriam Pemberton, Institute for Policy Studies; Laura Peterson, Taxpayers for Common Sense; Prasannan Parthasarathi, Boston College; Christopher Preble, Cato Institute, and Winslow Wheeler, Center for Defense Information.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/102677-panel-commissioned-by-barney-frank-recommends-nearly-1t-in-defense-cuts-to-close-deficit

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: China
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http://chch2.ws/index.php/article/43

Critics believe Obama is mimicking Clinton’s well-known dislike for the military that led to his intentional neglect of his primary responsibility: the protection of the American people. During the Clinton Administration, in less than three years, deployments for humanitarian missions increased while manpower decreased from 2.1 million to 1.6 million.

The decrease in armed forces was called “reinvention” of government. While telling Americans that Clinton was making deep cuts in the federal bureaucracy, the media failed to inform Americans exactly what part of that “bureaucracy” was being cut. It was the military who suffered the cuts in order to make Clinton a hero.

Of the 305,000 employees removed from the federal payroll, 286,000 (or 90%) were military cuts. The statistics for America’s defense during the Clinton years reveal the true feelings of the administration toward those who served in the military. The Army was cut from 18 divisions to 12. The Navy was reduced from 546 ships to 380. Air Force flight squadrons were cut from 76 to a mere 50. There were reductions in tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, special forces units, etc.

Obama and his Administration—filled with retreads from President Clinton’s Administration—believes in allowing the United Nations and the European Union to dictate US defense policy and strategy. His faith in these two entities will result in less protection for Americans.


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Country: Vietnam
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I hate to Agree with Frank but I also want a much reduced military. We can start by removing every soldier around the world and bringing them home now. We do not need troops in over a hundred countries. Japan and Korea can fend for themselves. No more bases in Canada or any military ties. Canada can handle any and all of their own concerns. We need no troops anywhere in Europe. Europe is strong now and can handle anything that comes their way. I am tired of this country subsidizing all of these countries by throwing our hard earned money into their defense. This has enabled them to have strong Socialist programs for their citizens because the good old USA will just handle most of that for them. Bring our brave soldiers home now.

I don't agree with all though. We still need a strong navy and especially with a much reduced military force on the ground. Also those subs are our ace in the hole. It is hard to be too belligerent when a few of these hidden and quiet death machines could spew a few instant missiles up your azz. The Air force needs to be strong as anyone anywhere in the world will know that in hours we can bomb them horribly. Of course when our presence on the ground worldwide is reduced then the Navy and Air force can be reduced to an extent. Huge savings then that can be used to help us at home now. Also a huge savings can be had by no more Nation welfare. Countries count on our handouts too readily. No more giving any money to anyone unless we have assets of their of equal value that we can take if the loans are not paid back.

The savings would be huge if we roll our Federal government to the year 2000 levels also. With all this we can pay down a lot our deficit and even have the Socialist programs that the gimme gimme people want.

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Filed: Timeline

The Defense Department accounts for more than half of discretionary spending, so that is where you have to look if you are serious about cutting Federal spending. I would also defund the Department of Education, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Now, if you want to consider mandatory spending as well, then you have to tell the old folks that have to do with less.

No magic in any of this. Spend less. Cut government positions. Start reneging on promises the Feds can't possible keep.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
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I hate to Agree with Frank but I also want a much reduced military. We can start by removing every soldier around the world and bringing them home now. We do not need troops in over a hundred countries. Japan and Korea can fend for themselves. No more bases in Canada or any military ties. Canada can handle any and all of their own concerns. We need no troops anywhere in Europe. Europe is strong now and can handle anything that comes their way. I am tired of this country subsidizing all of these countries by throwing our hard earned money into their defense. This has enabled them to have strong Socialist programs for their citizens because the good old USA will just handle most of that for them. Bring our brave soldiers home now.

it sounds like you are not wanting a reduction in the military, but a reduction in our overseas presence.


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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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I hate to Agree with Frank but I also want a much reduced military. We can start by removing every soldier around the world and bringing them home now. We do not need troops in over a hundred countries. Japan and Korea can fend for themselves. No more bases in Canada or any military ties. Canada can handle any and all of their own concerns. We need no troops anywhere in Europe. Europe is strong now and can handle anything that comes their way. I am tired of this country subsidizing all of these countries by throwing our hard earned money into their defense. This has enabled them to have strong Socialist programs for their citizens because the good old USA will just handle most of that for them. Bring our brave soldiers home now.

I don't agree with all though. We still need a strong navy and especially with a much reduced military force on the ground. Also those subs are our ace in the hole. It is hard to be too belligerent when a few of these hidden and quiet death machines could spew a few instant missiles up your azz. The Air force needs to be strong as anyone anywhere in the world will know that in hours we can bomb them horribly. Of course when our presence on the ground worldwide is reduced then the Navy and Air force can be reduced to an extent. Huge savings then that can be used to help us at home now. Also a huge savings can be had by no more Nation welfare. Countries count on our handouts too readily. No more giving any money to anyone unless we have assets of their of equal value that we can take if the loans are not paid back.

The savings would be huge if we roll our Federal government to the year 2000 levels also. With all this we can pay down a lot our deficit and even have the Socialist programs that the gimme gimme people want.

I agree with this for the most part.

The truth is, our Navy is indeed our Ace in the hole if anyone were to dare to try anything stupid against this nation. Well, minus the fact if they tried to come from our southern or northern border. Which the southern border is a really nice place to station all of those troops who we'd bring home from overseas. But not many realize that even the world's other navies combined could not match the strength and firepower of ours. That's something to think about for anyone who doubts how serious we're protected on our east/west coasts.


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"A ** knows best about national defense."

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"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

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He is spot on. Cutting it by $1 trillion leaves $300 billion; still a good 4 times more than China.

The money saved can reduce the deficit, furthermore, God forbid actually be invested in America on Americans. You know, on the infrastructure that was built in the 20th century and is literally falling apart or lacking. At the end of the day, what creates more jobs? The military or investing the money in America and on Americas. The military offers the lowest ROI per dollar spent period.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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He is spot on. Cutting it by $1 trillion leaves $300 billion; still a good 4 times more than China.

The money saved can reduce the deficit, furthermore, God forbid actually be invested in America on Americans. You know, on the infrastructure that was built in the 20th century and is literally falling apart or lacking. At the end of the day, what creates more jobs? The military or investing the money in America and on Americas. The military offers the lowest ROI per dollar spent period.

Agreed. Plenty O' fat in these programs, and room to make cuts and efficiencies. Eliminate that crazy Osprey, anyways. It blows branches and debris in everyone's eyes at picnics, and flies like the pilot is drunk!


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Leave the military alone and don't make drastic cuts. It's not a friendly world in which we live.

Sorry dude but most other countries like China are too busy investing their money in China to start any war. Even Russia of all countries has smartened up. $300,000,000,000 a year is still more than enough to protect the country.

You also seem to ignore the American streets; with many being worse looking and more dangerous than Baghdad streets. Yet when it comes to that, the police have no money to fight the crime and protect the cities Americans live in. Just had a look at the women cops of Memphis show yesterday. I cannot believe that is America, the country you beat on about, as it looks like a third world country. You think that is what imaginary enemies want or are going to attack? Good one bud. Get over your pride and wake up dude.

Agreed. Plenty O' fat in these programs, and room to make cuts and efficiencies.

The problem with the current approach is that the US military has a blank check book. All while Americans, their cities and their communities are counting dimes to pay for power alone.

Edited by Booyah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Assume they cut the Pentagon's budget. They will still go to congress for appropriations to pay for war. They aren't using their budgeted money to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan.


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He is spot on. Cutting it by $1 trillion leaves $300 billion; still a good 4 times more than China.

The money saved can reduce the deficit, furthermore, God forbid actually be invested in America on Americans. You know, on the infrastructure that was built in the 20th century and is literally falling apart or lacking. At the end of the day, what creates more jobs? The military or investing the money in America and on Americas. The military offers the lowest ROI per dollar spent period.

Over 10 years, which is about 100 billion per year, which is barely 10% of the yearly defense related spending of 1 to 1.2 trillion each year.


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