Skip to comments.Downgrading Defense Capabilities
Posted on 12/27/2010 3:47:29 AM PST by Scanian
Our foreign policy establishment believes that America's allotment of conventional weapons is useless. The DOD's current leaders (Robert Gates, William Lynn, et al.) would love to significantly reduce our numbers in this respect, and they've already made extensive "progress."
The first President Bush cancelled over a hundred weapon programs and reduced many others, including the order for B-2 bombers. The Clinton administration also canceled or cut a number of programs (e.g., the Seawolf class), as did the second Bush administration (vide the XM2001 artillery program, the Comanche helicopter, the E-10MC2A AWACS, etc.). All three administrations also radically reduced the inventories of existing conventional weapons. During the late 1980s, the USAF had over 3,200 fighterplanes; now it has about 2,300. The USAF's bomber fleet has shrunk to just 162 aircraft, while the Navy, with just 286 vessels, has the smallest warship fleet since 1916.
The Obama administration has implemented its own cuts of existing stockpiles of weapons, and during FY2010, it closed over twenty crucial weapon programs, including the F-22, the Zumwalt class, the CSAR-X helicopter program, and the AC-X gunship program. SecDef Robert Gates tried to justify these cuts with claims that a bunch of militants hiding in caves threaten the U.S. worse than China and Russia does. He also believes that these countries are not America's foes, or even potential adversaries, but rather constructive partners. Harry Reid came to Gates's defense, saying that conventional weapons like F-22s are useless against irregular opponents such as the Taliban and are therefore totally unneeded.
But are these weapons systems really useless against insurgents? And if so, is there any other task they can do today?
Most conventional weapons -- including the ones designed during the Cold War -- have been remarkably effective in Afghanistan and Iraq, and not just against the conventional...
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