Editorial - 8/15/11

Even before the debt-ceiling charade, the Pentagon had been ordered to reduce its expenses by $400-billion over the next decade. Not pleasant, but do-able, say Pentagon brass.  But it may well get far worse, since that deal-with-the-devil requires that if the Congressional "super-committee" fails to get its cuts-package passed by year-end, the President will order $400-billion-more in military reductions, the pinnacle of irresponsibility.  This is pure, gun-to-the-head White House politics.  Do as we say, meaning, raise  taxes, or we'll neuter our military capability, another master-stroke from the gang that refuses to put the good of our nation, above their down-with-our-nation agenda. Rolling the dice like that, in the constant-state of world-turmoil we face, is lunacy, which describes D.C. politics, generally, as well.

One of the most deceitful results of further deep-cuts would be reductions in military pay, medical care, and retirement benefits, a stark negative for morale and readiness, damaging both recruitment and retention.  Reneging on promises made years ago to military members who've put lives on the line overseas, then moved their families countless times at home.  But, say the Feds, this'll bring the military retiree plan, closer to what civilians have.   What? When's the last time a guy in wing-tips and a suit flew thousands of miles from family, to risk his life, dodging bullets and IED's, months at a time, for modest pay?  We must never compromise on our firm promise of proper health care and retirement for our military.  Those in uniform protect our freedom. Wing-tips do not.  Can we save on military expenses?  Carefully, yes.  But never at the expense of the equipment and a defense force, sufficiently manned and motivated, to fully and convincingly defend us against radical movements, or even nations, who intend to do us harm.