Democrats Seek to Protect Pork Weapons
It’s a matter of two philosophies. Fight the war you have now or worry about the next war (itis?). From CQ Politics:
Democrats in Congress are beginning to push back against plans to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps, signaling that they will protect the sophisticated weapons systems that constituents and contractors value in the upcoming debate over resources…
John P. Murtha , D-Pa., chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said that plans to increase by 2013 the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps by 65,000 and 27,000 troops, respectively, must be scaled back to pay for rebuilding the military after seven years of war and buying weapons for the future.
“[The Defense Department] is going to have to cut personnel in order to pay for procurement. . . . I don’t know that they are going to be able to keep growing the Army,” said Murtha, adding, “Personnel costs are out of control.”
This idea may not be as bad as its sounds. Historically America has always cut troops strength at the end of all its wars. With Iraq as good as won and Afghanistan soon to get the full “Petraeus Treatment”, we can see where reducing the number of troops, or at least freezing the total we now have might be feasible.
But we had our heart set on a “million man army” and there is still a way to make this happen, by reducing the budget share of the other high tech services, whose interest in the essential counter-insurgency warfare has been slight. The USN is still top heavy in battleships, while the Air Force has shown little interest in replacing excellent and well used close-support bombers like the indispensable A-10 Warthog. Both of the latter Departments have plans that involve less numbers for your buck, so whatever isn’t working should be scrapped with the money going to what does work, and that is the Army’s counter-insurgency plans.