Skip to comments.Military’s top general offers grim outlook on nation’s defense
Posted on 03/05/2014 3:32:19 PM PST by SkyPilot
The nations top military commander painted a dark picture Tuesday of future U.S. defense capabilities clouded by shrinking Pentagon budgets and adversaries technological advances that he said would erode American battlefield superiority.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, provided his sobering views as part of the Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated evaluation of U.S. military strength issued every four years.
Dempsey predicted that it would become increasingly difficult to balance the competing demands of protecting allies abroad, securing Americans at home and deterring future wars.
The smaller and less capable military outlined in the QDR makes meeting these obligations more difficult, he said. Most of our platforms and equipment will be older, and our advantages in some domains will have eroded. Our loss of depth across the force could reduce our ability to intimidate opponents from escalating conflicts.
Dempsey added: Moreover, many of our most capable allies will lose key capabilities. The situation will be exacerbated given our current readiness concerns, which will worsen over the next three or four years.
Dempseys perspective was more pessimistic than that of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
As we move off the longest continuous war footing in our nations history, this QDR explains how we will adapt, reshape and rebalance our military for the challenges and opportunities of the future, Hagel said in a statement.
Dempsey issued his warnings as President Barack Obama sent Congress a 2015 budget for the entire government on Tuesday that provides the Pentagon just over $600 billion.
Thats $13 billion less than current funding, but $26 billion more than provided in a budget deal that Congress approved in December by large bipartisan majorities.
(Excerpt) Read more at mcclatchydc.com ...
two plus two does equal four-—but he’s authorized to wear his pajamas if he’s so inclined. I’m just happy he showed up in uniform since he has such a low opinion of the MILITARY HE’S been leading.
A very brave man...
How soon will Obama fire him?
Because of the order of precedence and the awards listed on his bio.
Wow! I didn’t realize the defense budget was so high. I guess it really does pay to be a defense contractor.
Why do we need an adequate military or why do we need to spend so much?.
There are some such as myself that do not put a price limit on Liberty. Think about it, the military is what has guaranteed the Liberty to discuss spending priorities. Without which the Leftists would have zilch to redistribute.
The question is and always should be: what military abilities do we need REGARDLESS the price.
That is always a liberal argument, that we spend blah blah more as much as blah blah. Never fall for it.
First of all, we estimate what each nation spends on its military. They don't exactly publish it as we do.
Next, we hold a technological edge in many areas, and those are expensive, but they don't trump all. In the end, flying hot lead is just as deadly.
EXAMPLE: the US military buys a set of combat fatigues for $200 per pair. That cost includes R&D, liability insurance for the company, product safety, union wages, and a whole host of other costs that reflect doing business in America.
China's military pays $25 for a set of combat fatigues. Maybe not as good, or maybe better, but in the end, they outfit a soldier for much less than ours.
Each soldier deploying to Afghanistan has nearly $25,000 worth of gear going with him, but in the end, he can die just as easily from a single bullet as the Islamic fighter.
We also pay our military better, and give them better benefits. In my mind, they deserve them, and so do their families, especially when this nation is shelling out Trillion in giveaways to people who never lifted a finger for this nation.
China's military is mandatory, and they don't care so much about things like housing, pay, educational benefits, or health care for their people.
All I am saying to you is it is not a one-to-one comparison. Look at the number of ships, troops, and aircraft of military's side by side. That tells you a lot more than dollars vs. their currency converted to dollars of what we estimate they produce, procure, spend, and field.
I agree with you. Also, the militaries of Russia and China are building where we are mothballing.
Yes - I said essentially the same thing. One needs to compare military capabilities then calculate dollars and finally percentages. A comparison of countries spending in percentage terms is not that meaningful
Who should we believe? The general or chuck hagel?
If this is a tough question, you’re on the wrong board.
Because China and Russia will have it. The alternative is to have both of those communist countries spending SIGNIFICANTLY more money on their militaries while looking to knock us off the super power perch.
It’s a recipe for disaster.
I agree. But, what are getting for the $600 billion? If spending that much money represents pre WWII levels what are we paying for.
And: "Our procurement system is corrupt and extremely inefficient, particularly for new weapons." All govt. bureaucracies are corrupt and bloated. The Pentagon is another bureaucracy.
The important point, strategically, is that their $135B may be enough to give them strategic parity in less than a decade as they can buy much more bang for their buck than we can with 4x bucks.
I think Gen Dempsey is a political general who does not rock the boat, although from today's testimony it was obvious that he was much more pessimistic than Hagel, and repeatedly signaled to the Senators (in both body language and words) that the defense cuts are disastrous. However, I still believe he will do the bidding of his masters.
Exactly. America wants to loot the Defense budget, and beg, borrow and steal, to spend as much as possible on transfer payments so we can live the good life without having to work. Will our kids be bankrupt and subject to Russian and Chinese threats? Who cares? We’ll be dead!!
A lot more than the $799 Billion a year we spend on this:
We get a committed military that will go anywhere and do anything we ask, up to and including their very lives.
Our military backs up our world political and economic power, and without it, we are paper tiger. Russia senses our military weakness, and so does China. It is NO SECRET that they are currently attempting to remove the US Dollar as the World's Reserve Currency. If that happens, our economy will literally implode.
We get a military that will respond to domestic (i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes) and worldwide (i.e. Tsunamis, earthquakes) disasters.
It the DoD budget big? Yeah, it is. It is also now less than 4% GDP, a near historic low.
I get your frustration, and I understand there is waste and inefficiency. Not every Defense Dollar is sacred. But the military has been the ONLY Federal agency cut in the last 5 years in real terms.
John McCain said this to Hagel this morning:
"I must say your timing is exquisite. Coming over here with a budget when the world is probably more unsettled since the end of World War II. The invasion of Crimea, Iran negotiations collapsed, China more aggressive in the South China Sea, North Korea fired more missiles in the last few days, Syria turning into a regional conflict. You've come here with a budget that constrains us in a way that's unprecedented."
I don't know what is going to happen in the next 980 days left of Obama, but I know we are in serious, serious trouble. This will not end well.
We may hold a technological edge in many areas but a cheap RPG can still do a lot of damage. I always wondered why we never developed a similar weapon.
That’s a misleading chart (you know it...you specialize in it)
It’s a chart of percentages.
If you showed a chart of actual money spent, it would look far different.