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Saving the Defense Budget

July 29, 2005

Cutting the defense budget is an easy matter. You just have to convince Congressmen and the Military Industrial Complex, for decades dependent on government handouts, as well as Pentagon officials resistant to reform of any kind. Simple right? And once you accomplish this, here are some suggested cuts:

  1. Navy-Cancel the CVN-21, DDX destroyers, Virginia class subs, and San Antonio amphibious ships.
  2. Air Force-Cancel the F/A-22 Raptor and scale back the Joint Strike Fighter purchases by half.
  3. Army-Cancel the Future Combat System.
  4. BMD-Drastically scale back Ballistic Missile Defense, except the Navy’s Aegis program and the Airborne Laser.
  5. Marines– Cancel the Expeditinary Fighting Vehicle and the V-22 Osprey.

There’s good news: As Zell Miller might say-“U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?” Bear with me, Zell. Platforms should be built to fight wars, not wars planned around platforms. Any weapons built for the future should be considered expendable, such as robots and wheeled vehicles. Here is a more affordable budget, relevant to 21st Century warfare:

  1. Navy-Procure up to 300 frigate and corvette types (such as LCS and Sea Fighter), and small carriers armed with vertol F-35B JSF. Continue to invest in alternatives to the nuclear sub, such as diesel/electric and robot submersibles.
  2. Air Force-Purchase late model aircraft already in production, such as F-16s and F-15s until JSF is produced. Order additional C-17s and C-130 transports off the shelf.
  3. Army– Transform into a easily transportable, all-wheeled force. Purchase additional Stryker vehicles and armored cars off the shelf.
  4. Marines-Procure additional helicopters off the shelf and transform into a all vetical lift force. Marines can also transported on the small carriers.

The new Precision War has made 20th Century platforms, like the tank, fighter, and the aircraft carrier obsolete. Platforms are too vulnerable and slow to react to fast cruise missiles, and precision guided munitions.

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