Fiscal Cliff debacle means necessary funding for nuclear defense might suffer

Cut Defense Spending, Intelligently

Fiscal Cliff debacle means necessary funding for nuclear defense might sufferBy James Turnage

(Lt. Gen. Robert Gard is the chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former executive assistant to two secretaries of defense. Brig. Gen. John Johns is a former director of human resources development for the Army General Staff. He taught at the U.S. Military Academy and lectured at the Air War College, the Army War College, the U.S. Military Academy, and the Naval Academy. He serves on the board of advisers for the Council for a Livable World.)

These retired generals believe that if we fall off of the fiscal cliff, funding for necessary defense programs will suffer thanks to “political posturing”.

They say that too often the debate over spending cuts in the defense budget are based on past wars and the ‘cold war’ with the former Soviet Union. And too often special interest groups, financially dependent on the military industrial complex, influence our legislators. No longer is the strength of our military based on large numbers of ships, tanks, and aircraft. For example, more drones are planned for use than manned aircraft in future battles. The F-35 aircraft has cost our country more money than we have spent on veterans in the last 20 years.

Our nuclear weapons policy is based on ‘cold war’ fears. 700 billion dollars is allotted for the next 10 years for nuclear programs which will add little security for our country.

They believe that defense spending is the result of political strategies. The fact that our country has been involved in two costly wars, and that they have not been paid for, is destructive to our economy, and an example of why intelligent cuts need to be made. “Reducing wasteful spending on unneeded programs and outdated strategy will save money and enhance national security.”

Lastly, they say that cutting defense spending will in no way decrease employment. The F-35 program is slated to cost $1.5 trillion over its lifetime. They believe we should stop making “toys we keep in the garage”, and start offering job training and education to our veterans.

James Turnage

News Correspondent-The Guardian Express

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