Our military is already stretched thin, fighting two wars. But a Congressional task force, led by that super-macho Barney Frank, wants to trim cut ONE TRILLION DOLLARS from the defense budget.
Makes sense to me!*#@
Christopher Hinton of Market Watch reports on June 11, 2010, that the bipartisan Sustainable Defense Task Force, formed under the auspices of Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass) said that the Pentagon could save nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years if would reduce the size of its fighting force and dump a handful of heavy-weapon programs that have long histories of trouble and cost growth.
In the group’s sights are the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, built by General Dynamics Corp., Textron Inc. unit Bell Helicopter’s MV-22 Osprey, and the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
“The development of the F-35 is rapidly going the way of the F-22 Raptor: late, over cost and less capable that promised,” the task force said in its report. “However, even if the aircraft performed according to specifications, it would not be needed in order for us to defeat current and emerging challenges.”
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, under pressure to reduce spending in the wake of higher federal budget deficits and a weak economy, has said he is determined to cut defense spending in part through smarter procurement practices.
Already on the chopping block are the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter and the Boeing Co. C-17 global transport jet.
But the most savings could eventually come from rolling back the size of the U.S. military, according to the task force report. Reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to 1,000 warheads, on 160 Minuteman missiles and seven Ohio-class submarines would save the country $113 billion form fiscal 2011 through 2020. Combined with a more limited modernization of nuclear warheads, selectively curtailing missile defense and space spending and a rational reduction in conventional forces, the Pentagon could pocket up to $638.4 billion over the next ten years.
Then there is the research and development: with $80 billion a year in funding, it’s 33% above the Cold War peak in real terms, the task force said. “Our modest proposal is that the DoD set clearer priorities and seek $5 billion in savings per year.”
The Sustainable Defense Task Force was made up of academics and spending activists, including the Cato Institute, Boston College, and Taxpayers for Commonsense. Frank commissioned the study in cooperation with Rep. Walter Jones (R, N.C.), Rep. Ron Paul (R, Texas) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D, Ore.).
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