February 24th, 2014
01:34 PM ET

Get real, Hagel tells nation in proposing military cuts

By Tom Cohen

Get real, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told America on Monday in proposing a scaled back, modern military that would cut the Army to its pre-World War II size, retire the A-10 "Warthog" attack jet and reduce some benefits for fighting forces.

"This is a budget that recognizes the reality of the magnitude of our fiscal challenges, the dangerous world we live in, and the American military's unique and indispensable role in the security of this country and in today's volatile world," Hagel said in unveiling the Defense Department spending plan for 2015 and beyond.

"There are difficult decisions ahead," he added. "That is the reality we're living with."

Downsizing due to modernization and budget constraints began under Hagel's predecessor, Robert Gates, and the proposal outlined on Monday described a new phase in the transition.

"Not a war-footing budget"

"For the first time in 13 years we will be presenting a budget to the Congress of the United States that's not a war-footing budget," Hagel said in response to reporters' questions. "That's a defining budget because it starts to reset and reshape."

Under it, the former senator from Nebraska said the military would become a smaller, more tactical force capable of fighting on one war front and maintaining effective defenses for a second while shifting to more specialized capabilities.

"Our analysis showed that this force would be capable of decisively defeating aggression in one major combat theater - as it must be - while also defending the homeland and supporting air and naval forces engaged in another theater against an adversary," he said.

The proposal endorsed Monday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who appeared with Hagel at the Pentagon news conference, is certain to face strong opposition in Congress - especially with midterm elections coming up in November.

Hagel's budget will be formally proposed next week and legislators from states or districts with major military bases or a heavy presence of contractors are expected to rail against it.

In recent years, Republican hawks have battled military force reductions under President Barack Obama's attempts to reduce defense spending as part of overall deficit reduction.

Conservative Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, questioned the planned cuts in forces at a time of varying threats and a U.S. shift in emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region, saying it "does not make strategic sense."

"It's going to be a far slimmer military," noted CNN Military Analyst and retired Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks, predicting a rough reception in Washington. "This is the toughest part - the political part."

Retired NATO commander: It's necessary

Retired Army Gen. George Joulwan, a former NATO supreme allied commander in Europe, said he thought the changes were necessary.

"Whether it's smart or not is yet to be seen. But I think it's necessary to do, given the constraints that we face fiscally within the United States," he told CNN.

For now, the Pentagon budget for the rest of this fiscal year and for 2015 is about $500 billion for each, as set by a congressional compromise in December.

Hagel acknowledged the changes he proposed mean assuming more risk, but said the military would be better situated to respond to the evolving security challenges facing the country.

The recommendations in the budget plan for 2015 and ensuing years "favor a smaller and more capable force - putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries," Hagel said.

He added that the proposal includes "important investments to preserve a safe, secure, reliable, and effective nuclear force."

All military forces, both active and reserve, would be cut under the budget plan.

It calls for reducing the Army to a level of 440,000 to 450,000 troops, which would be the lowest total in more than 70 years. At its height, the Army had 570,000 troops after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and currently has about 520,000.

According to Hagel, the budget proposal protects funding for cyberwarfare and special operations, and preserves money for the controversial and costly F-35 fighter jet.

Warthogs retired?

His plan would retire the A-10, which Hagel called a 40-year-old, single-purpose aircraft designed for Cold War operations, at a cost savings of $3.5 billion over five years.

Separately, Hagel said 900 additional Marines would be assigned to bolster security at embassies around the world under his proposal.

Diplomatic security has received close scrutiny since a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

Also, Hagel said the plan envisions increasing special operations forces from 66,000 today to 69,700 in the future to better meet tactical needs of a modern military requiring counterterrorism and crisis response.

Other provisions would reduce some benefits for military personnel, resulting in them having to shoulder more of their housing and medical costs. Reducing the federal subsidy to commissaries would mean smaller discounts for groceries on U.S. bases.

Through his remarks, Hagel warned that if Congress fails to eliminate planned across-the-board spending cuts beyond 2016, the military reductions would be on a greater scale and significant enough to compromise U.S. national security.

Some of those forced cuts, known as sequestration, were eased for this year and next under the budget deal worked out by Congress in December.

CNN's Halimah Abdullah and CNNMoney's Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Hagel • Military
soundoff (1,807 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015. ha ha ha

    February 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  2. sly

    On rare occasions, Republicans come up with good ideas.

    The Affordable Health Care and Military spending reduction proposals are both good for America. We implemented the Republican health care proposal, and 'obamacare' has been pretty much the success we all knew it would be. This Republican military reduction is not enough, but it is a small step in the right direction.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  3. AlohaJonny

    All you progressives crack me up, what happens when ten's of thousands are out of work? How much are they going to cut from HHS??? Stupid America destroying liberals..

    February 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      Cut funding for education, food for hungry children, and then complain about not enough educated workers to fill key jobs. Stupid America hating conservatives.

      February 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  4. Gary

    In our nations past other countries feared our military powers and understood that if you attack America there will be a price to pay .

    Now with Obama and his dream of an Muslin America we can let our guard down and give our money to terriost groups with a smile on our faces . What the Hell is going on with this country,no morals and handouts to anyone whom can sign up and say they are poor. What a joke this goverment has become.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Reply
    • jboh

      A Muslim America. Your ignorant, partisan foolishness speaks for its stupid self.

      February 25, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  5. slay false gods

    Send all the Wanna Be Hero's to war and send the bill to the tea party

    February 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Just send all the lazy welfare recipients and we wont have a budget issue. Problem solved

      February 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • slay false gods

        Of course Righty wants to send the poorest of the poor to war.
        Richy Rich sitting pretty.
        But when push comes to shove the Righty's tough talk is empty.
        Ted Nugent could have served but he decided to defecate in his pants instead.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
      • Michael smith

        Well I'm both from a childhood of poverty and a Veteran so who exactly are you referring to here?

        February 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      • Phillip

        Oh you idiot! The truth is that is what this country has been doing ever since Viet Nam. It has always been the poor and uneducated who have served this country during time of war with distinction.

        February 25, 2014 at 1:24 pm |
      • jboh

        How about sending all the war mongering chicken hawks who never saw a war they didn't want to send someone else's kids to fight. All the while sitting back and getting fat on the blood of others? Sniffing the oxycode pickled brain flatulence of a loud mouth drug smuggler is not being informed. Just partisan ignorance.

        February 25, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
  6. citizenUSA

    As other have expressed, it's a new world. We should be using some of that alien technology.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  7. crabapples12

    not to worry we will cut the military and raise the funding for DHS, NSA and TSA. This clown in the white house is an international joke. I also love the troll commentors so avid on CNN. The world of warcraft servers must be down today.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  8. The watchers

    Hagel is right... We need a leaner meaner military that has more special forces, cyberwarfare capabilities and drones instead of high school drop outs carrying guns and leeching off the govts teat

    February 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
    • Inciteful

      As it pertains to cuts in military personnel, there is absolutely no net savings to the government/taxpayers whatsoever. The number of jobs in the U.S. is fixed, if not declining, a major number of which are for minimum wage. It's like whack-a-mole...for every reduction in a military job, there will be a corresponding add to the welfare/food stamp/Medicaid rolls. The U.S. would be better served to maintain the personnel level and educate, train and physically prepare those not currently needed for combat or combat support roles. Otherwise, this will just create a bigger pool of drug mules, if not dealers, etc.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        You're absolutely right. This creates a more dependant civilian population while also eliminating the threat of the military keeping the government in check.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
      • Inciteful

        When those, who are least qualified, find themselves unemployed, it is unlikely that they will go back to school and get the education they should have gotten the first time around. However, those in the military have to go wherever/whenever they're assigned, which could/should be school. When you're in the military, attendance is mandatory and "failure is not an option."

        February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
      • Michael smith

        Not to mention a large portion of Vets go to college after serving and will now end up on welfare or as you stated dealing drugs, robbing etc..as a result. A less educated more dependant society.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
      • Inciteful

        I'll go further and say that, for the purpose stated in my previous comment, based on certain criteria (TBD), the military draft should be reinstated, the pool for which would be based on certain criteria (TBD). Their assigned duty should include military-operated schooling for basic education along with military training.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  9. sly

    Why is anyone on here arguing with our Adminstrations proposal? President Obama will win all of his fights to bring progressive improvement to America.

    Who cares what the TeaKlan thinks? None of y'all are relevant today – you tried to destroy our nation by firing millions of federal workers.

    You lost. You always lose. This is OUR America now – so take your sorry un-American TeaKlan butz back to Germany.

    America: Love it or Leave It! We run this country, and we are making it much better.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Because it isn't saving us any money. It is actually going to cost us 150 billion more

      February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Doc

      So far, I'm not impressed what you've done with the place. Give it back so we can fix it before you totally ruin it.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  10. ibuk

    This is long overdue.

    The US spends over $2149 per citizen on the military, why? Next is Russia with $651 per citizen. China spends a mere $123 per citizen. Even the European Union as a whole only spends $532 per citizen.

    The US could easily half its military spending and come nowhere close to anyone else. It will take courage and perseverance to overcome the politicized military spending machine.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Joe Biden

      Why did Pakistan's military get $1.6 BILLION in Oct??
      http://edition.cnn.Com/2013/10/19/politics/u-s-pakistan-aid/

      cc and pasted

      February 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Who knows. Sounds like a great place to start cutting!

        February 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • jim

      Since 48% of the population doesn't work... how much do we spend on welfare, food stamps, and unemployment benefits? Cut those handouts and put the people to work! Heck, put them on the front line in Afganistan!

      February 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Al1951

        That 48% you are quoting includes retired and injured vetrans as well as those over retirement age.

        So, instead of sending taking away the pay and sending the vets back into war, go volunteer.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:47 pm |
    • dagdthompson

      The median salary in the U.S. is $51,371. In China, it is $8,760. In Russia, it is $11,076, and in the European Union, it varies, however, the reason they don't spend much is because, according to the NATO agreement we provide a good deal of their security. So if you want us to cut spending on Defense, pull us out of NATO, cut our standard/cost of living (across the board by around $40,000/year), and then we might be able to cut the Defense the way you want to. I'll tell you what, you cut your pay by $40,000 per year, and tell me how it goes, and then we'll talk. Somehow, I doubt you will.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  11. pseudomike

    I am 100% A OK with disarming the government.

    February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  12. Jerry

    All these cuts to our military are stupid; just like the idiots proposing them. The military should consider revolting and throwing 0-Bama and his idiotic minions on their as___!

    February 25, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Really Jerry.
      At what point do we need to spend that much money. And overthrough civilian leadership? Because he is black? You don't like him? Can you tell me why? Or is it just that you like buying some rediculous yellow ribbon and think you're supporting the troops? You are sad example of an American.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Bring it baby. This is OUR country now, and we can easily send you Confederates back to Germany.

      Our President is a winner. You hill-billies are proven losers. We laugh at your quiet screams. No one is listening anymore – we are all enjoying the good times President Obama has brought us – killing our #1 enemy, record stock markets, record 401k's! Good times baby! Now take your hands out of your panties and be a man and accept defeat.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Wow! You and him both sound incredibly brainwashed

        February 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
  13. tomodachi58

    Want to get more bang for your buck?

    Start enforcing equal standards in our so called gender neutral military, and weed out those who can't meet a common standard. It's unfortunate that the generals in the pentagon don't have the cojones to stand up for what is right.

    Why hasn't Obama made it mandatory for women to register for Selective Service? I want to see his daughters register for the draft just like my sons had to.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • CMACK

      What about Chelsea or the Bush girls???? No......just the Obama girls. Wow, you are so obvious.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  14. Ed Harley

    I would guess that the average military service member makes about $50K per year.
    The average USG Civilian makes $100K+
    The civilians outnumber the service members by at least 2 to 1
    There is your tax savings.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:56 am | Reply
    • Marty Q

      That's not correct about the military or civilian personnel, not sure where you get your information but its 100 percent inaccurate.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • NoBasisInFact

      I like how your guess has no basis in fact, you're pulling numbers from mid-air, and making a blanket statement that makes no sense at all.

      Why don't we talk about all of the military members who defraud the government by claiming a 30% disability for "service related injuries". Every prior service DoD civilian employee that I talk to tells me that, if you didn't get at least a 30% disability rating when you separated, then you're intellectually challenged. Nobody wants to talk about that sacred cow, now, do they?

      February 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • CMACK

      I hope you mean the average US General?? The average US federal civilian employee will never make that much.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  15. sly

    The Generals and the Pentagon have proposed some very sensible cuts to our bloated military.

    These cuts are way too little, but it is a good start. Another excellant move for the current administration governing our nation.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      This adds 150 billion to military spending. Did you read the article?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:42 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        This clown is a poser. See the pattern to the left of the user name.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:46 am |
      • Michael smith

        Stop Stalking Me You Poser!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:53 am |
    • sly

      It's ok Michael – reading comprehension is a valuable skill, and there are courses to help you understand what 'military spending reduction' means.

      Get back to us after you've attained 4th grade reading levels.

      Until then, thank you President Obama, thank you Pentagon – America is heading in the right direction.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        The military budget would actually increase $115B over the next several years in conjunction with the cuts (military.com). So actually all this is doing is taking money from the troops…no money is being saved. So that military industrial complex you complain about is set to receive MORE money on the backs of the troops actually doing the fighting!

        February 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
  16. GI Jane Rambo

    When you do the numbers you will find the US has been very incompetent when it comes to military spending. In 2011, the US collected $1.1 trillion from individual income taxes and spent $700 billion dollars on military spending. When you do the Math, $700 billion military spending is 63% of $1.1 trillion funds available to use. This does not include military retirements and VA benefits. I type again, 63%, 63%, 63%... does that make sense? This would be the same as if your household take home pay after taxes was $150,000 and you spent $94,500 for defense (a home security system).
    The last 12 years we have been in three wars. The Afghanistan war, the Iraq war, and the Drone war over Pakistan. In the Afghan war, the US military deployed to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban. Osama Bin Laden had already left the country. In the Iraq war, the US military and State Department deployed to Iraq. There were no WMD’s only a dispute between Saddam Hussein and Dick Cheney (Kellogg Brown & Root).
    Our great big boogie man enemy does not exist. We have spent trillionS on each of these wars. Did that make since to you? Osama Bin Laden may have spent a million for salaries and pilot training for 15 people. His 9/11 mission took less than five hours and killed about 3000 Americans. Our mission took about 12 hours to get him and maybe 20 military personnel. It did not take 12 years, trillions of dollars thousands of lives. Did it make sense for us to be in three ground wars for 12 years and spend trillions, trillions, trillions? Many systems and operations in the military are obsolete, too many horse & buggies and bayonets.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Ed Harley

      Jane,

      And who ordered those service members to go and fight? Congress and the Pres.
      So the solution is to now punish service members and their families?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
      • navaJohn

        We're winding down 2 wars. That's what you do. Of course Congress is still ordering that we manufacture more tanks just to park them in the desert outside Reno along with 4,000 others we don't need AFTER the military said we don't need anymore. Let's see, which political party has a big stake in Ohio. Mr. Boehner, can you answer that?

        February 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
  17. 1ohreally1

    The USA accounts for less then 5% of the world population, yet we spend more on our military then the next thirteen countries on the list. It would seem that there is something amiss. The cuts being proposed are large when mentioned in the stand alone mode, and devastating to those that will be directly affected. but the bottom line is that there is a whole bunch of 'Good Ol' Boy' pork in the military. And if we are taking food and medicine out of the mouths of people, it would seem that these cuts are more then called for.
    There is no other country on this planet with the military capabilities of the USA. But there are a whole bunch of them ahead of us regarding humanitarian issues
    Instead of trying to impose our will on the entire world let's impose our resources on conquering disease and hunger on the homefront.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • dagdthompson

      What is the cost of living in the United States as opposed to those other countries? I'll give an example, the median salary in America is $51,371/year, whereas the median salary in China is $730/month or $8,760/year, or over $42,000 less than you, or I make, in all likelihood. Are you willing to take a $42,000/year pay cut in order to cut your cost of living so our military can cut the budget so it would be the equivalent to that of China? Somehow, I doubt it.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  18. ArchieDeBunker

    Billy Clingon tried (tee hee) "balancing the budget" by scrapping the equivalent of the world's third largest army (including disemboweling the CIA and other intelligence-gathering groups) and, guess what? Within 5 years came 9-11. And because of the (tee hee) "budget balancing" foolishness we ended up sending thousands and thousands of poorly-equipped troops into battle in Afghanistan – and the cuts had to be made up for as soon as possible. Of course that was JUST FINE, THANK YOU, with the Dumbocrats, who immediately started blaming George Bush for spending too much "on the war." "Those who cannot learn from history are destined to repeat it."

    February 25, 2014 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • The Real Dave

      Wake up archie, Republicans are the ones constantly wanting to cut spending. This is what cutting spending looks like. Republicans love to talk about it but then when it's time to bite the bullet they don't want to because they see how it affects their states. What happened to states rights? They want them, then pay for them.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • maryd

      and the bush administration ignored the threat while the pres played golf and cut spending to stem cell research.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:49 am | Reply
  19. cc

    Cutting the reserves is a mistake. The military should be made up of a small active duty component for training, maintenance, and security backed by a large ready reserve that can be activated quickly when needed. One area that could be cut is retirement. Not how it's calculated but how it's earned. Right now military personnel earn retirement after 20 years even if their' entire career is spent doing paperwork. How about earning retirement with 30 years' credits where time spent pushing papers earns 1 credit per year but time spent actually fighting earns 3 credits per year. That could reduce retirement to 10 years for real soldiers while putting the paper soldiers on a par with civilians.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • tomodachi58

      "How about earning retirement with 30 years' credits where time spent pushing papers earns 1 credit per year but time spent actually fighting earns 3 credits per year. That could reduce retirement to 10 years for real soldiers while putting the paper soldiers on a par with civilians"

      This has got to be the most ignorant reply that I have ever come across. Really?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
  20. Serious Truth

    Just watch, our wasteful congress will try and force the military to spend money on program they don't want.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
  21. Larry Hass

    Some realities we know we need to adjust for in the future: Nation building is too expensive given current population levels and those levels are only going to rise over time, extended ground wars on the other side of the planet (land wars in Asia) are not only unproductive but literally stupid, given the effects of climate change we will need to conserve and maintain more resources in the United States to assist future recovery efforts especially if we continue to all the oil industry to pipe oil across the bread basket and frack on fault lines (I'm convinced we are environmentally suicidal), plenty more to discuss but let's all go back to listening to Ted Nugent for awhile.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  22. Michael smith

    The first thing to be cut should be these ridiculous $21 billion per year and growing tax free monthly so-called "housing" allowances that in fact are tax free handouts in our nation's all volunteer military.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Google "basic allowance for housing 2014" and see the facts for yourselves. Many singles are getting monthly tax free windfalls of $3,000. And tens of thousands of "dual married" volunteer couples are getting $3,000-$6,000-$9,000 a month tax free via these handouts!

      February 25, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        This is not the REAL Michael smith! He is a POSER!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • Nsane1

        why take something away from the people who volunteer to fight for your freedom to make such a ridiculous suggestion, given you were probably to afraid to step up and fight for your country. where we should start trying to save money is quit giving it to the people that are too lazy to go get a job. i am in HR for the construction industry and we are constantly looking for good people for jobs, but the lazy people that are getting free money for tax paying citizens would rather get something for free. Until our government decides to stop giving lazy people free money this country will only get worse.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:39 am |
      • John

        You're out of your mind, that's not a hand out, a hand out is those welfare recipients smoking dope while collecting cash and food while their kids are starving, that's where the cuts need to begin. Leave the military alone cut congress pay they make more than there true worth.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:55 am |
    • SeeThruIt2

      The military provides housing for all troops. They don't charge those troops for their housing, since they want them available 24×7. They even provide on-base housing for married troops for their families, again to make sure they can control their location.

      But, they don't have enough space for all of the troops and families on base. So, they provide an allowance to live off-base when practical. The rules actually state that the allowance is only available based on the needs of the military. (That is, you are required to live on-base and not get the allowance if space is available on base.)

      February 25, 2014 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Utter nonsense! Many single quarters on ships and bases go unused in favor of these TAX FREE MONTHLY HANDOUTS!

        And yes indeed, dual marrieds get TWO handouts for their ONE family unit. And tens of thousands fall into the $3,000-$6,000-$9,000 a month tax free range!

        It's a $21 billion pwr year and growing GRAVY TRAIN OFF TGE BACKS IF YTE US TAXPAYERS!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:35 am |
      • Mike

        Id love to know where you get $9000 a month in housing? Im in a high cost area and getting a good amount for housing but I dont see much of it in the end after paying for my rent and utilities. Its the people that are too scared to go into the service dont know understand how it really works.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • Ed Harley

      So your solution is to force a military member to involuntary PCS (move) their family to areas like DC (where housing costs $2K+) then tell them to survive on a monthly salary of $2300 before taxes? Most lower ranking military families are already on some form of assistance due to this very fact. This math does not add up?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:47 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Two married O-6s and even O-5s with a kid in San Fran, Boston, NYC, Honolulu, and several other cities sitting behind desks are getting this level of tax free monthly handout. Dual marrieds almost across the board are being handed from $3,000-$9,000 a month tax free. Preposterous!

        February 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • KSM

        Michael,

        You're right...0-5's in Honolulu do get over $4k a month for housing. Several of my friends are O-4s and O-5s and get that amount. However, they live on base and write a check every month to housing. Housing is privatized and they charge you your BAH amount to live on post. However, dual military DOES NOT earn two housing allowances–only one!

        February 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
  23. nytww

    The federal budget needs to be cut 30% across the board. Every department, agency, and program needs to have its budget slashed 30%.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:15 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      As a prior Section Chief in the IRS's CFO Office, that idea is mindless.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
  24. sam mazz

    This is the third cycle of expand/contract in my lifetime. First we cut the military, then some third world country embarrasses us and we expand the military. The game never changes, only the players do. Wake up young adults, you are being played – again.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:08 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Very similar to what happened after the Clinton administration and their massive cuts to the DOD. 911 was a direct result of this mistake and here we have Obama making the same mistake. When will we learn?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Note the pattern to the left of this poser's user name. He is stalking my REAL posts. He's a coward and dullard of the highest order.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:23 am |
      • AnotherGuessed

        The mistake is not cutting the military, it is getting involved in quagmires like Vietnam and Iraq.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • Michael smith

        STOP STALKING ME!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
  25. DerBaron

    Isolationism and budget cuts …. plus the "drone" technology the military has wanted for decades is coming to fruition (note that defense contractor stocks keep soaring – the money isn't being cut). Eventually unmanned vehicles will take many functions over but each model should earn it's keep before we assume it can start replacing humans.

    February 25, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply
  26. FubarObama

    Hagel is the enemy

    February 25, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
  27. Ron

    "War is a racket"
    Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, Ret.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:54 am | Reply
  28. Michael smith

    I hate a poser almost as much as I hate the ignorance of Americans!

    February 25, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Now I see that you alter your last user name to a small s. You are the personification of a spineless COWARD!

      February 25, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      I think I may be bi polar. I'm talking to myself now.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:00 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        You are a coward and I am calling you out!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am |
      • Michael smith

        The "real" Michael smith" is me. There is a pattern to the right of my name that is different from this cowardly poser who created a user account with my same name. Ignore this cowardly jackal.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Michael smith

        I hate this poser. He is under my skin about as bad my current outbreak of genital warts.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:06 am |
  29. Paul

    Cost analysis:
    How many A-10's could one downed F-35 have purchased and how many F-35s will be lost in CAS and ground attack missions for each A-10 lost?

    February 25, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  30. Andrew

    Isolationizm in America seems to be alive and well. The world economy and safety is at risk, but they only think about America. Worked before WW2, they could careless about the world system until Pearl Harbor. Do you seriously think that with our enemies technology, the US would have enough time to react to anything? Look at allied tech vs axis tech. We were damn lucky to come out of that arms race on top.... but hey, lets setup the board again to roll the dice.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:46 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Who says anything about isolationism?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Why are you so afraid?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Andrew

        I'm afraid that global economies will shift. If America cant protect its allies, then America isn't much of an ally. It doesn't take much for an economy to switch sides. Economic changes have caused wars before. Think history, buddy.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • Michael smith

        I'll agree with that

        February 25, 2014 at 11:05 am |
    • Michael smith

      Andrew the more I think about, the more I think you may be right. I stand corrected

      February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        This is the mike smith poser who lacks the cajhones to use his own name or account, or to even TRY rebutting my posts with reason and intelligence. What a slinking COWARD!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:01 am |
      • Andrew

        Wow, thank you. I just hope that never happens.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:24 am |
  31. Michael Smith

    I must admit that even a Democrat such as myself, is dissapointed with the job the President has done so far.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Poser! My last name is spelled with a small s! Your fake user name has a capital S! You coward!

      February 25, 2014 at 10:47 am | Reply
  32. OnTheRoad

    We could cut our defense budget in half and still have the best military in the world! But, we still have not "Won" any war we have been in since WWII! Ok, we did really kick Panama's butt and these was also the victory in Grenada!

    February 25, 2014 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • HURC

      Great examples of the world's bully.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • JLPifco

      Why should failure be rewarded? These guys haven't won a war for over 65 years>

      February 25, 2014 at 10:44 am | Reply
      • Jenifer Bright

        Do you have any idea what the current ROE are..it is a joke and puts our troops at risk. I have a son currently in AStan and a daughter who was a medic there as well. Perhaps if the politicians stayed out of how these wars are fought, there would be a different outcome. And for the record, I think we should bring them all home too. A**hole!

        February 25, 2014 at 10:59 am |
  33. Lance

    Notice and read the facts. These cuts the politicians are speaking of are not the billion dollar contracts to build planes, tanks and carriers nor lucrative contractor jobs. They are speaking of firing 80,000 service members and sending them and their families to unemployment or the civilian workforce, where jobs are scarce. The military industrial complex will continue because it is funded in states of congressional members who would rather put troops and their families on the streets than give up tax dollars in their districts and states.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  34. Steve

    If the cuts are due to the lessened threat, great. If the cuts are due to a change in the nature of warfare, great. Responsible spending is what we want, right? The lack of jobs available to these newly unemployed freedom fighters is what has me concerned. The lack of VA funds, the lack of systems in place to catch our heroes is what concerns me. What about the VA funds and welfare systems that will assuredly catch some of these folks between jobs? I doubt they will be short of volunteers to get out, much like the drawdown after Dessert Storm/shield when I got out. We need to see the big picture in order to support these moves or not.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:26 am | Reply
  35. aldante66

    My daughters friend just got booted out of the Navy after 21 years. Yes he collects a retirement check and is young enough to go out and start a new life but the Navy spent a ton of money training him to be a pilot, paid for his education and as a Navy Trainer was important to their mission. Cutting back is one thing but getting rid of the people that make the organization better and train others to be contributive is plain foolish and a total waste of taxpayers money.
    We get to save his annual salary minus his retirement check and start all over again with his replacement. Not smart at all.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:14 am | Reply
    • Steve

      They can still pull him back if needed for up to 8 years I think.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Would you like any cheese with that whine?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      Oh and by the way your daughters friend was a coward working for the military industrial complex!

      February 25, 2014 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        This is the poser, not me. Note the different pattern to the right of the user name. What a pathetic COWARD!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:06 am |
  36. Dave

    Democrats cutting the pay and benefits of those in the military is disgraceful.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • aldante66

      Sorry but you have to come up with pay increased for welfare mom's and food stamp programs. Hard working military people are now considered expendable. Besides O understands the military unlike Unions, vote heavily for repubs.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:16 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Most volunteers (operative word) in the mil are NOT COMBATANTS, did NOT choose to enlist into combat arms, saw NOT ONE SECOND of combat, and DID NOT earn a single direct combat medal, device, or ribbon. Most sit behind desks year after year after year, and especially do the careerists who are afraid to pull from the financial security blankee that IS the US taxpayer funded military for the vast majority of volunteers (operative word, again).

        February 25, 2014 at 10:29 am |
      • WEK

        Do you know the number of military people who are on food stamps - just saying.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:33 am |
      • Michael Smith

        Although I will admit that I never served and have very little knowledge of the matter. I am purely speculating here.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:39 am |
    • Paul

      Democrats? Did you even bother reading the article?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Paul

      You do realize Chuck Hagel is Republican?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply
      • JSB

        You do realize that as an administration official whether he is D or R is completely irrelevant. The only job of an administration official is to present the President's policies and to be expendable if said policies reflect poorly on the president.

        You can take EVERY administration policy and attribute it directly to the president and you would not be wrong more than maybe 1-2% of the time.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:26 am |
    • GreyMan

      I believe fund bills start with the House and they're controlled by Republicans. The GOP is the ones cutting the military budget.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:20 am | Reply
      • JSB

        That is the correct order of things... Unless we are talking about Obamacare or a budget that has been proposed but never acted on in Congress. This particular budget proposal by the president is likely to meet the fate of the last 4 he has proposed. Unanimous defeat.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • Michael smith

      As I recall it, the prior SECDEF, Robert Gates, an R, publicly and repeatedly stated that military personnel costs "were eating the DOD budget alive" and that they were "unsustainable." So much for your wrongheaded perception.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        There is a cowardly poser on this site blogging with the same name as myself. But notice that my last name is spelled with a small s while this coward cites his fake "Michael Smith" account using a capital S. Coward!

        February 25, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • The Real Dave

      Republicans are the only ones constantly calling for cutting government spending. You are an 1d10t.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:43 am | Reply
  37. dir2014

    I worked 25 years in the Pentagon. I used to say that every other person coming in the building should be given their "pink slip". Not one program or project would suffer - that includes anything that I worked on.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:11 am | Reply
    • dir2014

      That includes military and civilian employees!

      February 25, 2014 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      And most are double dipping parasites!

      February 25, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Ron

      Well said.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  38. aldante66

    My take, our pres grew up surmising how white people in charge were spending needless money on space? Why space? and the Military? When that money good go to the po people in the ghetto's. His whole candidacy is to take money from huge money spending programs and create a larger welfare state. That is what this is really about. Shifting money to another source not saving money by cutting spending.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • dir2014

      The answer to you is "you are a racist, redneck AH"

      February 25, 2014 at 10:15 am | Reply
  39. Le Grand Old Pattie

    What if the zombies invade? Can we fight that and the Aliens from Mars too?

    February 25, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  40. Calvin

    I just want to put things into perspective for those of you who are so passionate about providing an "opinion" about service members.

    Unless you have served, you have no right to complain about our pay, benefits or lifestyle. I was thinking about giving you a sob story about what it is like to tell your family that you are leaving and that you don't know when you will be coming back. I was going to share what it is like to come home and have your own child look at you like you're a complete stranger. Additionally, I was going to share with everyone what it is like to "do more with less" which has been the case ever since I enlisted. And finally, I was going to express to you the pain every soldier feels when we lose a fellow soldier. What kind of price tag would you put on any one of these experiences?

    But the simple matter of the fact is that none of you will understand what it is like unless you have served. Come take a walk in our muddy, worn out and frayed boots. We have been running on fumes for a long time, and we will continue to get the job done regardless of anyone's opinion. We are professionals accountable to the highest of standards and we rely upon one another to get the job done.

    Feel free to comment on this article, defense spending, etc. That is a right we fight for everyday as service members. All I ask is that you do not comment about the service members who have sacrificed more than their fair share for this country. There is a reason why being an enlisted service member is the #1 most stressful job several years in the running. It's because only a select few of us have the courage, and privilege, to proudly serve our country.

    I've been serving honorably for 11 years now. Rest assured that all service members will continue to fight for "our" nation regardless of pay, benefits and lifestyle.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • dir2014

      IF IT'S SO TOUCH, WHY DO YOU STAY? JUST SUFFERIG IT OUT FOR 20 YEARS?

      February 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Reply
      • Calvin

        Is that really your comment to my post? Did I ever use the word suffering? There is a big difference between sacrifice and suffering. I can clearly tell that you have not served and I choose not to explain my reason for serving.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:30 am |
    • GreyMan

      People go to work everyday without the guarantee of coming home. Life if precious.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Michael smith

      As a vet, I am calling you out! What a pile of reeking self-righteousness and self-love!

      My money says that you, like most, enlisted with a GED or a mere HS diploma, and you did so leaving behind a minimum wage job and your parent' home, and you opted NOT for combat arms but as some sort of office-based support role.

      Moreover, you saw ZERO combat and you NEVER earned a single direct combat medal, ribbon or award. Not one. But go right ahead and prove me wrong you braggadocios and smug (over nada) loudmouth!

      February 25, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
      • JSB

        Pot meet Kettle

        February 25, 2014 at 11:30 am |
    • Grim

      Your comment is more appropriate in regards to combat troops. For every 1 combat troop in the US Army there are 7 support staff. In the USMC for every combat marine there are 5 support staff. So of 520,000 Us Army personnel, there are 65,000 combat troops and 455,000 support troops that will not see active combat in their career. This ratio goes across all branches of the service. Support personnel are required but you would think that the ratio should be 1 support personnel for every 2 combat troop.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • vet31

        Then you have no idea how logistics or planning works. As a helicopter pilot and officer, I have combat experience and staff experience. In your model, is that one support staff supposed to cook, provide water, deliver fuel, fix the tank, etc for those two combat troops? Is he/she also supposed to plan the fight, talk to the Air Force, the national command authority, the host nation leadership, the mayor? Do they do the INTEL analysis too? Do they go back and work with the company in the States that makes the boots, uniforms, Stryker, etc to make sure we get a good product? Do they write the contract, so we get the product we need, at the right time and place? Please think a little before posting.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:27 am |
      • Steph

        Just for the record, in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, support personnel DID serve outside the wire and did see combat. Especially in non MOS specific missions like route clearance and convoy security, cooks, truck drivers, medics, admin people, etc were just as likely to get blown up as an infantry guy or cav scout.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • Firefighter's Wife

      I worked for the Department of Army for several years and am very aware of the difficulties facing military families. While I have not walked a "mile" in your muddy worn out boots, I can safely say your career choice is not the only one that is dangerous with family sacrifices. I am married to a professional firefighter who just happens to work for the Department of Defense. I'm never guaranteed that he is coming home to myself and our 6 month old daughter and have gone for periods of time without seeing him as well.

      While I am extremely grateful for your service, I am offended by your assumption that service members will be the only ones affected and are the only ones that sacrifice for America. We will also have to worry about whether or not my husband will have a job when all of this is said and done and believe me as "civilians" we don't have near the services to help us cope.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:59 am | Reply
      • Michael smith

        Good point. As a vet, I am so sick if reading or hearing these over the top self-righteous tomes of self-love.

        From a vet and the son of an EXTREMELY HUMBLE WWII combat decorated US Marine Infantryman, GIVE IT A REST! AND PUT A SOCK IN IT!

        February 25, 2014 at 11:12 am |
    • The watchers

      Maybe it's time for you to learn some real skills and get a real job

      February 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • KSM

      Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Calvin! I've been an Army wife for almost 15 years. I get it–I agree with everything you said. Sadly, most don't. Soldiers offer to die for our country and these civilians are griping about soldier pay and commissary benefits....unbelievable!

      February 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  41. Le Grand Old Pattie

    No no no. We need more wars. We need the A-10 and if we need more tanks. More battleships too.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:08 am | Reply
  42. GrayWinslo

    End the wasteful rip off by defense contractors and pentagon fools. Trillions wasted to keep war machine engineers in jobs. Let them build schools and bridges.

    February 25, 2014 at 10:07 am | Reply
  43. Jonj

    Lets CUT (Weaken) the Military Forces to the Size in Pre-WWII... What was the Polulation Size at THAT TIME versuses NOW !! And how many Threats Worldwide are we Facing Now as Well !! CUTS..Cut Foreign Aide to Countries that HATE Us..Of 192 Countries, we Give Aide to 158 Countries..129 Of the 158 Countries HATE Us... CUTS..Deport Illegals Back to their Own Country (Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower Did..Giving Jobs to Americans and Boosting OUR Economy. ILLEGALs Commit 60% of our Nations Crimes).. CUTS..the HIGHLY Overweight Freeloading Deadbeats on WELFARE (85% dont need it).. NO BENEFITS TO ILLEGALs... Give More Jobs (Like Building Bridges) to Americans, Not China ( China uses Chinese Workers, that PAY NO TAXES here.. Boost Ameica not China's Economy)..

    February 25, 2014 at 10:00 am | Reply
    • GrayWinslo

      conservatism is deadly to USA future. War machine waste and rip offs are killing USA. USA DOD $ should be cut to 25% of current extreme.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
      • JSB

        And Social programs should be cut 100%.... But neither one has a snowballs chance in hell of happening.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:36 am |
    • Tom in Desoto, TX

      About 30% of the nations budget is allocated to the Defense Department. In the current budget it's $653 BILLION, that is more then the expenditure for Defense for the next 20 countries COMBINED. That includes Russia, China, Germany, Italy, France, Britain just to name a few. Those countries allocate funds to useful thinks like education, roads, bridges and health care. In the major subjects, the U.S. ranges between the 15th and 25th. Even the simple things don't know, that being that 25% of the people do not know the earth is round. There is no war, expenditures should be reduced. There is NO need to concoct a war just to spend needlessly on the military. If spending on the military is needed, raise taxes to pay for it instead of borrowing it from other countries. Don't forget, borrowed money has to be PAID BACK WITH INTEREST.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:13 am | Reply
      • Bruce in VA

        Your numbers are nowhere close to accurate...next 20 countries combined...no. And if you look at our spending as a percent of GDP, there are 6 or 7 countries that are at our level or above.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:55 am |
    • Andrew

      That's right Obama, decrease military & increase food stamps. Every blind American might think military is used to attack an enemy, but fail to remember that the military also used to protect our allies and interests. Americas enemies know this and will take advantage. Technology might be able to fill some gaps, but, if history tells us anything, no technology can replace boots on the ground.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
  44. pm ohio

    I believe that the Defense Secretary and the Joint Chiefs are going to make the necessary cuts without harming our ability to defend our country. Give the military leaders a hard number and they will make the proper cuts. Keep the politicians out of the process and we will all be better off.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • dir2014

      YOU ARE CORRECT!

      February 25, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • devil dog

      “Whether it’s smart or not is yet to be seen. But I think it’s necessary to do, given the constraints that we face fiscally within the United States,” he told CNN.

      that isn't exactly a huge vote of confidence

      February 25, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
  45. dave

    Apache v. A-10 Apache – LESS armor LESS speed LESS firepower

    February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am | Reply
  46. Rich1311

    We don't get to choose our battles in the longterm. The fact isa it bass never been a more dangerous world then it is right now. Even the perception of a weakened America could cause a crisis that we are not able to deal with. Ma;or weapon systems are essential tok keeping our country and world safe while only keeping our troops to a minimum which it is already at. We do need more accountability on the price tag and cost overages. Also, I don't know what our strategy is for our defensive requirements. Our foreign policy in general, is not clear.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • Rich1311

      I believe that we can make the world a safer place through diplomacy, but we also have to deal from a position of strength. For those of you too young to remember, read about the diplomacy in use just prior to World War II, and it would also be useful to understand the history of the negotiations that Neville Chamberlain had with Hitler.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
  47. G. von Richter

    Republcans want cuts. We can do that. Cut the navys 1 shot throw away ships–we can do that. Retire the U-2 which has been around since the 1950's–we can do that. We have been constantly told that todays weapons are so good and so expensive because they can do the work of 50 WW II weapons–so what is the problem. Wanting to be at a constant state of war seems a little unusual when you think about it. If we didn't try to be control freaks all over the world–we wouldn't have as many enemies.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Paul

      Doing to work of 50 WWII equivalents is all well and good save for the fact they cost much more than 50 times the price of what they are replacing.

      Cutting the A-10 save 3.5 billion over 5 years. The F-35 is 167 billion OVER BUDGET. That's 167 billion PLUS the budgeted cost. And they're going to take out the best weapon for the mission to save a rounding error's worth.

      February 25, 2014 at 10:56 am | Reply
  48. Kyra Mimeux

    Nobody wants to hear this but the sad truth is that our military industrial complex is just one big Works program to give people jobs. Anybody that does the numbers knows that we could get by with 1/4 of the military that we have. The American people only want a defense force.

    If you work for the Military in any way, or if you build Military hardware, you are basically on welfare. Learn a skill and get a real job.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • devil dog

      Wow. You may just be the most ignorant person I have ever encountered.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am | Reply
      • Kyra Mimeux

        Like I said. Do the numbers. You know.. MATH. There is no country on the planet that can even attempt to threaten American soil. Not to even mention our Nuclear deterrent. Now, if you want a Military that will fight to keep our business interests safe overseas, that is another thing. But that isn't what the American people want.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:30 am |
      • devil dog

        You dont speak for every American (thank god) and your math is extremely fuzzy

        February 25, 2014 at 9:33 am |
      • Kyra Mimeux

        Oh, and also, calling people names is a very weak argument. Just sayin.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:33 am |
      • devil dog

        I wasn't calling you a name either. I was stating a fact. Just saying

        February 25, 2014 at 9:35 am |
      • Kyra Mimeux

        I don't really think that the comment section of a CNN news story is the place to perform a detailed dissertation on the military spending of the United States. Besides, one of the problems with this country is too much intellectual laziness. Go dig up the numbers yourself if you REALLY care. Statistics say you probably don't.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:35 am |
      • devil dog

        Kyra I dont need a "stat" to understand what I already know about our enemies first hand. I certainly dont expect some pseudo intellectual blow hard to grasp that reality.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am |
      • dave

        check out your mirror

        February 25, 2014 at 9:42 am |
      • Steve

        Kyra, first of all have you ever served? Do you know what it means to serve your country and be proud of doing and proud to be in a tight group of brothers and sisters. Respect. More important, alot of the technology you have today is from the "welfare" government employee or contratcor as you say. Also, I have a real job, I support the warfighter. What is it that you do? Are you taking the handouts from Obama? If all DOD was cut don't you think that the loss of jobs would impact the nation? Lets grow up and find out how the real world is before opening one's mouth.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • Kyra Mimeux

        I have served. It was just a job I had when I was a kid. No big patriotic deal. Just like all of my "brothers in arms". Again though, this isn't about who I am. It is about: What is the purpose of our military. Who are we defending against. And who are we defending against that we can't already beat 100 times over.

        February 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • SSNs4EVR

      I agree with you that we could budget our mulitary to be larger than maybe the 5 largest military forces combined, instead of the current status, as larger than the next 13 largest military forces combined. But to suggest that military affiliation equals welfare, or that contractors learn a skill and get a real job, is pretty absurd. I spent 21 hard years in the military, securing the freedoms enjoyed by morons like you, to say idiotic things – something you apparently have a gift for. Sure, there is waste. Yes, there are contractors gouging the government, while lining their pockets. But, yes, there are also gifted warriors, supported by government, and contract personnel, who not only put themselves in harm's way, but also work hard to bring innovative solutions to complex problems, often without the necessary tools or funding, found in the civilian world, where the same efforts fail. Who isn't on "welfare" as you define it? The cable tv providers – tv is something absolutely essential, right? Cell phone providers – I distinctly remember a pre-mid 90's world where we lived without them. Million dollar/year athletes – yup, they're essential, esecially when I'm not a fan, yet am told by my local government that I'll be buying them a new stadium. Do we waste too much money on unnecessary military-industrial complex funding each year? Absolutely! Medical spending dwarfs defense spending though, at over 3 times the size – yet we manage to not be the healthiest nation on the planet. Funny, I think we have the most powerful military on the planet. In light of funding, compared to medicine at least, defense spending seems like a bargain.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • dir2014

      The Defense contractor industry is nothing but old retired military men earning huge salaries, in addition to military retirement benefits - welfare at it's best!!

      February 25, 2014 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • -Ö¿Ö-

      The kind of cuts they are talking about will put a whole lot of people on the streets looking for McJobs because there won't be anything else to do. I have real skills and a real job in Electronics and can take that anywhere, but chose to work with the Military to allow them to train, without having to kill or be killed, to do their job of defending this country.

      Making these cuts will force many others that are not in the Military, but working for them to be looking for those same McJobs...

      What do you propose that all those (as you call them) welfare people do? Apply for real welfare?

      I think you need to take a moment to reflect on what the reality of making these cuts will do to the overall economy. It's not like they will really put the money where it should go in the first place, because if they had put it there in the first place we wouldn't be having this discussion.

      Just sayin'...

      February 25, 2014 at 10:28 am | Reply
      • Nate

        Good point. I think we can safely expect the money saved here to be wasted somewhere else.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:56 am |
  49. Ian

    This is true the A-10 is only good for one thing...bringing punishment to the enemy and relief to the troops in despair for air support. Cold War my butt...this thing rained havoc from Heaven...

    February 25, 2014 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • dave

      that's two things

      February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am | Reply
  50. Aegius

    Anyone in the DOD understands what is happening here. The GOP....is demanding and forcing cuts. They embraced the sequester which was a $500 billions cut to defense, after they had just taken a massive cut. The GOP loves spending cuts...on paper. They love brag about how it's no big deal and that nobody will notice. Well the DOD is calling their bluff. When you cut funding to an agency, you can't expect them to continue operating in the same way. The 2011 Budget Control Act is your scoresheet, see who voted for it, they are the ones that supported massive military cuts. Watch them whine and complain about it now, but please, home them accountable for their votes.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • devil dog

      There are so many other areas to cut spending. How about the millions being spent to renovate mosques in egypt and other middle eastern countries. How about our funding of rebels that have ties to al queda. Wouldn't that be a more logical are to cut cost?

      February 25, 2014 at 9:23 am | Reply
      • Aegius

        That's true, but out politicians, both DEM and GOP, seem willing embrace massive cuts to Defense as a means to solving this nations spending problems. They voted for it multiple times, they....especially the GOP supported the Sequester, which was the most damaging to Defense, it's time that they be held accountable for their votes. It's hypocritical to vote to cut defense by 500 Billion and then be angry and furious, to see the DOD downsize because it can't afford to operate the way it has been.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:29 am |
      • Kyra Mimeux

        Oh, and also, calling people names is a very weak argument. Just sayin.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:32 am |
  51. Danlien

    Looks like there will be a lot of unemployed people in Virginia and Texas.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:12 am | Reply
  52. pm ohio

    Although our military leaders have to become political as a way of life in Washington, I trust that they are doing the right thing for the military and the protection of the country. They take an oath and being a son of a major General, I know for a fact that these men making the decisions are placing our country before any politician or special interest group. The US spends far too much on Defense spending as a percentage of the budget and most clear thinking people would agree there needs to be cuts. I have faith in our military leaders, that faced with the inevitible cuts, they are going to make the correct decisions on where those cuts need to be made. The tea party is against all taxes and would like to destroy the Federal Government...which is why they get elected with no credentials or vetting, then go to Washington and do nothing...but isn't interesting that while they are against any taxes they will still criticize Obama for trying to cut Defense spending when it's necessary and essential to balancing the budget?

    February 25, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply
  53. dagdthompson

    I love how some people just spout the line that America spends more on Defense than other nations, but all they are doing is parroting someone else's talking points. Yes, we spend more on Defense than, China for instance. Our Cost of Living is also drastically higher than theirs. The Median Salary in America, for instance, according to the Census Bureau is $51,371, whereas the median salary for China is the equivalent of $730/month or $8,760/year. That is a difference of $42,611. If you want to cut the military to where we spend the equivalent of what China does, does that mean you are willing to take a pay CUT of over $42,000 per year?

    February 25, 2014 at 9:02 am | Reply
  54. cedaly1968

    The defense spending cuts are due, I don't see us fighting major wars where we need 500,000 troops on the ground. Those conflicts are part of the past. The only time we will need that many troops is if we are invaded, and that is a very unlikely scenario. People often overlook the one huge benefit of a globally integrated economy, if China were to invade Taiwan for example, the U.S. could simply suspend all trade with China. Would it hurt the U.S.? Sure. Would it devastate China? Yup. The same is true with Russia, Iran or other powers. Look at the damage the embargo against Iran did to their economy. And we were not even trading with them in the first place. The economic power of the United States is an effective weapon against virtually all of our enemies. The military threat is for peacekeeping more than for fighting wars.

    February 25, 2014 at 9:01 am | Reply
    • JSB

      Those fights are part of the 'past' Sure the Gulf War was so far in the past no one remembers it. We had more than 500,000 boots on the ground for that one.

      February 25, 2014 at 11:44 am | Reply
  55. Bryan

    People scream and yell about overspending ... and then the President tries to do something about it (by cutting the largest, most wasteful budget we have) and people are gonna cry about it? You can't have it both ways. We could cut the military budget by 80% and be just fine, there is no reason we need to outspend the rest of the world 20 times over.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • Bringitbro

      Some smart thinking there Bro – how many years did you serve? How many times did you leave your family and come back with less body parts than you went with? Cut it 80% and lets see how long it is before you start screaming because you no longer have the freedom so many people fight for you to keep. While I agree cuts are needed, lets be realistic about it.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:06 am | Reply
      • jonds

        I did serve plus I worked as a civilian at an army post for two years and for those serving in combat I have the utmost respect but other than that the waste in the military knows no bounds. If people think that the troops stateside are spending their days training for combat you are in for an awakening, most days are spent hiding from day to day chores then spending the evenings getting effed up.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • Dean Smith

        Why don't we just declare victory in Europe and bring the troops home. Last time I checked I thought WW2 and the cold war were over.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am |
  56. Scott

    And after just having started upgrading the 400 strong A-10 fleet so it can stay in service another 50 years, while the F-22 will probably last 25, this is such a boneheaded political move. If war broke out with N Korea, which do you think will be more effective killing the 10,000 artillery pieces they have? An F-22 from 15,000 feet? A drone where the pilot is sitting comfy in a chair in Washington (Obama could be hands on then)? or the A-10, which would be flying close enough to see the brown stains in the NK soldiers pants as they run? Obviously Hagel learned nothing from Kosovo, when those mighty jets inflicted only 1/10 the damage they thought on the armor of the Serbs. The Serbs would just tow around burnt out tanks that had already been hit, and hide the active ones. The jets from high above thought the hulks were "live" tanks and would hit them again.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • rafterman11

      That's what we have the Apache for.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • dave

        Apache - LESS armor LESS speed LESS firepower

        February 25, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  57. Metlman

    It should do some good to cut our military budget, at least by several billion dollars.

    The United States spends more on its defense budget than any other country in the world. China is in a distant second, spending just over $100 Billion on its annual military budget. Cutting our current military budget will not make us weaker, because we will still be the most powerful military on the face of the earth. If a conflict breaks out, we just raise the military budget back to war levels.

    However, since the War in Afghanistan is coming to a close, we should review our military, and see what we should and shouldn't keep. For one thing, we won't need so many tanks, or mine-resistant vehicles. We can keep a few, but the rest should either go into storage or be sold/scrapped.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
    • Don

      I understood that the actual budget spending would increase by 150 billion. How do you call that a decrease?

      February 25, 2014 at 8:49 am | Reply
    • JSB

      You do realize that not every opponent that we have will be 'ragheads' in the mountains right? Eliminating troop forces because the last opponent didn't have the terrain to effectively use a particular piece of equipment doesn't mean that the terrain won't favor that equipment in 5 or 10 or 20 years down the road right?

      February 25, 2014 at 11:50 am | Reply
  58. Mike

    They "project power" for their own purposes. I don't think those purposes have anything at all to do with defending our country. I think they're all about offense, with forcing other countries to do the bidding of our leaders – some of whom are our elected officials.

    So, for my money, they can cut "defense" spending – they evey lie with the name – quite a lot. I'll still feel safe.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:36 am | Reply
  59. Adam Smith

    For once Obama listened, and gave conservaturds what they said they wished for – smaller and weaker federal government. And yet, you see these mongrels complain.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Ron

      Ah, do a little more research. "The military budget would actually increase $115B over the next several years" in conjunction with the cuts (military.com). So actually all this is doing is taking money from the trooops...no money is being saved. So that military industrial complex you complain about is set to receive MORE money on the backs of the troops actually doing the fighting!

      February 25, 2014 at 8:42 am | Reply
      • Adam Smith

        I hope you realize that budget increases, cuts, and making government smaller are not mutually exclusive. If the newly planned increase is smaller than usual or normal, it means that you are shrinking the gov't, even though in absolute terms the budget increases. Cuts are a different thing entirely, because personnel pay is just one line item in the budget. However, my original point stands – Obama is giving conservaturds what they claimed they wanted, and they're not happy. It's because conservaturds do not really want what they say they want. They don't care about smaller gov't – just look at the budget and deficit under Bush and GOP congress – they EXPLODED. So, these people are bad liars ( and worse ).

        February 25, 2014 at 9:37 am |
    • Natrldiver

      There is a big difference between a smaller government and a smaller defense. The significant cuts to the pentagon defense budget will impact a lot more than just manpower. Many services will impact dependent families too. Sure, you can jump on the band wagon and say that they need to get a job that pays, but when you are relocated every couple of years, that has a significant impact on the financial stability of a family let alone the mental stability of many children. Several of these services will be cut back before the troops feel the impact.

      You cut services and benefits and you will cut any incentive for soldiers to join let alone stay for the long haul.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:54 am | Reply
  60. JK

    This Administration is the only Administration that I have every seen that is weaking the greatest fighting force in the world. I have service many years in the Government and I have never seen such lack of leadership that we have in DC now. It is really sad to see this Administration destory the greatest fighting force in the world.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Books have been written about why spending so much money on "the greatest fighting force in the world" makes us much less safe, and serves the elite far more than it serves most of the rest of us. Do everybody a favor and read some of them.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Johnny B

      Maybe you took one too many hits to the head during your supposed military service...your grammar is horrible. Not to mention the fact that you are repeating verbatim what the right is saying only because a black man is running the country. We are not in any huge ground wars anymore. We do not need all the troops. If we ever do go back to war, like when your boys Bushie and Dickie lied about the reason in Iraq, there will be plenty of suckers standing in line to get killed for BS reasons again.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • Thinker...

      And what threats do we face that requires our continuation and expansion of the Cold War military? There is nothing wrong with scaling back the military when the war it is designed to fight won't happen. We NEED to scale back and get rid of the giant hammer we have to force a focus on finding alternative solutions to problems. Sometimes you have to force the change that is necessary. We will still have the most powerful Navy in the world (by a long shot) and there is no threat to us coming from Canada or Mexico. So we will no longer be able to play global police to the extent that we have; GOOD. We have allies to help us when we need it just as we help our allies.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:47 am | Reply
      • Bringitbro

        And just how many allies jumped in when 9/11 hit us? Maybe you should rethink this line of thinking.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:10 am |
  61. Dan Miller

    Our country spends more on defense than the combined defense budgets of the next 10 largest countries in the world. National security is more than how many people you have in uniform or how much military hardware you have. The security of our country depends on a robust growing economy, a strong safe infrastructure, quality cost effective healthcare, and a well educated citizenry. Whether you retire the A10 Warthog or or fund some other aircraft is irrelevant. We need to redefine our role in the world and what we really need to protect our country and our security interests. Iraq and Afghanistan were mistakes. Military misadventures pursued by politicians with little knowledge of history or military experience. John McCain exception noted. Our men and women service members served with distinction and their sacrifice should not be diminished or forgotten. Nevertheless these two conflicts wasted more National treasure that should never have happened. Now it is time to sober up and recognize we are not the worlds policeman. There is going to be some pain with this proposed military drawdown. It is going to be like waking up from a hangover. Hopefully we will come out of it healthier and stronger. And yes I have served – 27 years U.S. Army and U.S. Marines.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • Stephen

      And the point of cutting the military so drastically, while millions are wasted on welfare is???

      February 25, 2014 at 8:35 am | Reply
      • Mike

        So that we can waste more money on welfare. Of course, that's about values. My values tell me that feeding, housing, and training poor people, along with creating jobs, gives a MUCH better return on investment than running the world the way our elite sees fit does.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:45 am |
    • dagdthompson

      I love how some people just spout the line that America spends more on Defense than other nations, but all they are doing is parroting someone else's talking points. Yes, we spend more on Defense than, China for instance. Our Cost of Living is also drastically higher than theirs. The Median Salary in America, for instance, according to the Census Bureau is $51,371, whereas the median salary for China is the equivalent of $730/month or $8,760/year. That is a difference of $42,611. If you want to cut the military to where we spend the equivalent of what China does, does that mean you are willing to take a pay CUT of over $42,000 per year?

      February 25, 2014 at 9:01 am | Reply
  62. janer52

    I do not believe that cutting military pay is appropriate, HOWEVER, there is a lot of fat that can be cut from the military. We need to be smarter about where the money is spent and not continue to perpetuate 'old ways' that no longer are needed or bring value to the country.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • Bringitbro

      Agreed- they need to cut the lucrative civilian contractor jobs that are available. How about returning them to the troops where they were previously.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:12 am | Reply
  63. tom

    Some way to treat our military, Obozo should be proud. Notice not one of the politicians offer to cut their pay

    February 25, 2014 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • Tony Crispino

      He is proud. But he's also a liar. We are being convinced that this is by design. But military recruiting has taken a hit due to policy. In addition, I wonder how many people know that cuts in military will affect cancer research. The CDMRP is certain to take a hit here.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:30 am | Reply
      • Mike

        Not worried about the cancer research. They can fund that directly without the huge overhead that military spending means.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:56 am |
    • g

      I'm proud to see it, we need a cut of 50-70% in reality but this is a good start.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:31 am | Reply
      • Ron

        Ah, do a little more research. "The military budget would actually increase $115B over the next several years" in conjunction with the cuts (military.com). So actually all this is doing is taking money from the trooops...no money is being saved. So that military industrial complex you complain about is set to receive MORE money on the backs of the troops actually doing the fighting!

        February 25, 2014 at 8:43 am |
      • devil dog

        50-70%? Yea ok genius

        February 25, 2014 at 8:44 am |
      • JSB

        A cut of 100% of your benefits would be a better place to start.

        February 25, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • Grumpster

      When you start out with name-calling "Obozo" you lose any and all credibility. Among those you complain don't cut their pay are a boatload of republicans...and they all get lifetime benefits even if they only serve 2 years. Go back to Drudge...where you are sure to get more misinformation.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:31 am | Reply
    • Tom is clueless.

      Tom, our military needs to be cut...a lot. Calling the President names doesn't help. Those in congress could but ALL of their pay and it would make an insignificant dent in out budget issues.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:50 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        2008 Defense Spending $628 B. 2008 Deficit $240B or $0.24T

        2010 Defense Spending $663B. 2010 Deficit $1170B or $1.17T

        2013 Defense Spending $672B. 2013 Deficit $901B

        Yes, maybe the military can use a little downsize, but the smallest military since WWII isn't where it needs to be.

        We could completely eliminate the military and Obama's deficit will still be approximately the same size as Bush's 2008 deficit when he spent over $600 B on military spending.

        The problem isn't the military spending, it's the unprecedented increase in social programs.

        This whole thing is a bunch of smoke and mirrors to keep you distracted from the real problem.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:01 am |
    • Mike

      I'm proud of Obama. I'd rather see the money go to a LOT of other places. Even keeping in the pockets of the rich would be better – less whining.

      AND, I like what Obama originally wanted to do with the Affordable Care Act – the single payer option, that would actually have lowered healthcare costs to most of us. AND, I like that he doesn't want to cut Social Security.

      I don't like the drones, I don't like the clamping down on whistleblowers, I don't like NSA getting out of control.

      I DON'T like small government, because I think that will make it even easier for the elite and the corporations to run this country. Thus, while I respect some Republicans personally, I truly believe their goals will harm most of us, and benefit the few.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        Mike, please tell me how a single payer system would have lowered healthcare costs.

        Democrats and Republicans knew it was a bad idea and were against the single payer system, which is why even with a Super majority Obama had to pass the A.C.A. instead. Even with the A.C.A Obama still had to bribe members of his own party to sign it. Meanwhile Republicans say that it's going to be ineffective and cost a bunch of money.

        What happens? It's ineffective and it costs a lot of money.

        The single payer system wasn't a great idea. The A.C.A. was considered the lesser of two evils and it's still garbage.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:34 am |
  64. mike m

    Depending on who you believe, the US has spent $3 to $10 TRILLION on the ten year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the military claims 2.5 million servicemen have served in these wars, so we have spent $1 to 3 million per serviceman (6,600 troops died). The soldiers get $15,000 to $30,000 a year, so where did the $1 to $3 million per serviceman go?
    Iraq had an army briefly, Afghanistan is just a bunch of warring tribes that live in mud huts. Rich Saudis were behind most terrorist activity. They probably ended up with all the money. Haliburton, KRB and Blackwater moved to Dubai, so those trillions are gone for good.

    February 25, 2014 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • devil dog

      They aren't saying that each serviceman makes 1-3 million. That is the money spent on eacch serviceman. Food, housing, transport, other logistics.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am | Reply
      • docwindprod

        which the poster made clear in the post. the question asked was "where does the rest of the money go"? and we know the answer: contractors and waste.

        the more significant question, actually, is "why did 6,600 patriotic service personnel die for a lie"?

        February 25, 2014 at 9:09 am |
    • SammyBuka

      Wait.....wait....wait.....what about Benghazi?

      February 25, 2014 at 8:43 am | Reply
  65. UPTODATE

    One very relevant and important point of view being missed is which aircraft are likely to fall from favor as most likely to be vulnerable to hacking on the cyber warfare front.Which countries already have blueprints of the 35's in addition to the US airforce,and why.Also WHY THROW OUT THE OLD UNHACKABLE ,CHEAP,UNREPLACABLE,BACKUPS,WHICH KEPT casualties to minimum in the Gulf Wars.STORMIN' NORMAN MIGHT AGREE. A warty A10 to that !

    February 25, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
  66. devil dog

    The great thing about the word proposal is that it is just that. A proposal. This will not make it through Congress and thank god. If we need to make budget cuts, lets start with the bloated spending on welfare and foreign aid. Lets keep American tax dollars spent on American needs. The military and the defense of this country, should be the number 1 priority.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Mike

      The great thing about the word proposal is that it is just that. A proposal. This will not make it through Congress and thank god. If we need to make budget cuts, lets start with the bloated spending on welfare and foreign aid. Lets keep American tax dollars spent on American needs. The military and the defense of this country, should be the number 1 priority.

      Foreign aid gets a bad rap. People think it forms a significant part of our budget, but I keep reading that it doesn't begin to compare with our defense spending, and actually doesn't comprise a very large part of our overall spending. Further, I read that much of it benefits American Corporations, in that it comes with rules about how it's to be spent on their services and goods. Thus, it's actually corporate welfare again.

      Military spending, beyond the point where where we're defending ourselves, is about projecting power and corporate welfare. We've been well into that range for a very long time, and it hasn't made us safer.

      You're right about the welfare, where it's wasted. But, there are people who keep telling us that most of it's wasted. I don't think that's true. If we spent much of that DoD money on job creation, we'd spend much less on welfare, AND jumpstart the economy. Even the GOP knows that. But, they more directly serve our elite, who want less regulation and more freedom to run the world as they choose, without a powerful government to hamper them. Thus, they never stop propagandizing us about the wonders of small government.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:10 am | Reply
  67. Ann Jones

    I would rather keep military personnel, civilians and contractors employed and earning their pay while supporting our national security than to pay them for not working by paying their unemployment and food stamps when they are cut and don't have jobs to come home to. These cuts will add to the unemployment numbers because Democrats who have had full control have done nothing to create jobs.

    There are places where cuts can be made to prevent us from going this route. One simple way to cut billions is to extend time at each duty station by one or two years. My husband was moved every one, two or three years and each time we were moved it cost around ten thousand dollars to move us. One additional year at each location could create enough savings to prevent the majority of these cuts. If the service member wants to be moved before a certain designated time, they should be given that option if they are willing to move at their own expense.

    Raping the military further is only going to further weaken our national security and create more jobless citizens.

    Obama knew what he was doing when he picked Hagel. Hagel has always been in favor of cutting the military and is basically a Democrat in Republican clothing.

    What is sickening is that the IRS is growing. IRS employees received bonuses. Our president does not conduct himself like a leader who is in touch with the citizens or understands their needs. He acts like a king taking more lavish vacations and golfing more frequently than prior presidents who were criticized for that.
    Gas prices are triple the price that they were under Bush and the media does not harp on that like they did with Bush. I am sick of the media and others not holding this president to ANY standard.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • Big Bob

      Finally someone who speaks truth! Thank you and your husband for serving, Ann!

      February 25, 2014 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • devil dog

      Well thought out and said Ann

      February 25, 2014 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • Doug

      Ann,
      I thank your husband for serving this country, but I think you are quite misguided in some of your points of contention.

      Gas prices have not tripled under Obama. They went so low during the Bush presidency due to the financial collapse. Bush didn't do anything to drive the prices down, unless you consider presiding over an enormous financial system failure "doing something".

      The media does not harp on Obama taking his "lavish vacations" as much as you would like because, frankly, he hasn't taken as many as as Bush over the same span of time. Played more golf, you bet. However, he has taken just shy of 1/4th of the trips to anywhere, and spent slightly more than 1/4th of the time on "vacation" when compared to his most recent predecessor.

      I use Bush as he is our most recent "prior president". However, there are several examples for comparison purposes if you simply search the internet.

      In regards to wanting to keep government contractors employed through the military, I can understand that desire. However, the problem exacerbates itself with building things we don't need. How many military bases do we need? How many tanks do we need? How many jets do we need? Bombers? Bombs?

      Of the entire world military fund, our expenditures total 39% of that. The next closest country comes in at less than 10%. We spend four times more money on our military than the next closest country. We spend about 200B less than NATO in its entirety.

      Yes, we need to have a defense force for national security against potential threats, however, we do not need all of this hardware and military buddy system bloat that goes along with it.

      That's not to say that there shouldn't be something done about the welfare system(that other part of national security that you don't consider as security). I'm certain that things could be done to reduce bloat and expenses there.

      That said, don't pretend that this president is the sole problem or that he is getting a free pass. Don't pretend that our military isn't bloated. Don't pretend that "if we'd only elected a republican, all of our woes would be fixed". That's disingenuous at best, and purely ignorant at worst.

      Please, search for information. Credible information. It's available. Don't take just one small piece out of context. Look at the whole picture and use that information to form an opinion. With your posting, I'd honestly have to speculate that you're going off of "word of mouth" and Fox News for your information, neither of which can be 100% relied on.

      Please, search the internet.

      February 25, 2014 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Bringitbro

        We all know that everything on the Internet is true- how ludicrous a statement to make. While you may have one or two points of consideration, what you list is also fallacy. I am disappointed not only in the government, but the American public as a whole who has lost the balls to fight for getting rid of a President and sinking into a world of passiveness. Generations of welfare recipients and people who game the system, people who stopped working or looking for work because it was beneath them – yet the Military personnel once again get the shaft? Please.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:25 am |
      • DanCG01234

        Doug,

        Here are the rough averages on gas per year, 2008 1.65 in Nov, 2009 2.65 in AUG, 2010 2.70 in Aug, 2011 3.58 in Aug, 2012 3.58 in Aug, 2013 3.58 in Aug and so far in 2014 3.30. So yeah the numbers arent tripled, however this is a little more than doubled. You tell me one good reason that prices should be where they are at now. I agree that military spending should be reduced but you do not start with cutting pay and benefits to the folks that have been doing everything asked of them for the better part of 2 decades and expect people to just accept it. It is wrong. There are so many other areas we can cut in regards to spending then to shoulder it on our folks who have served without hesitation expecting the end result would be a retirement package that would keep them comfortable and taken care of. Note I didn't say rich. How about cutting the F-35 program or meaningful reform in the contracting process. Tell me that is not a ponzi scheme there. I personally witnessed this one sort of accidentaly. I bid out a simple CCTV project on my own first and bids were at 30K for full replacement meeting the guidelines required in writing. Well since it came in over 25k I had to put it out for bid on Fedbids. Guess what the average bid for the same project was then??? 100K. Imagine that. These folks do not have our best interests in mind. They are only lining the pockets of CEO's and companies that contribute to their campaign funds. You are correct the real problem lays all throughout that entire city from the President to the representatives. There is no leadership but the almighty dollar, which is going to be worthless here in a few months or years depending on how long it takes for our nation to print enough worthless money to pay our debts. Google that one if you would, and I would bet you will see a lot of one country pop up, China.... Just saying.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:42 am |
      • Doug

        Bringitbro,

        The fallacy is yours. It is called a "red herring", which is what your argument does. It distracts from the subjects that were initially brought up. It is not relevant to the discussion outside of your attempt to discredit all information available on the internet. This is patently false and you know it. It requires no more than a little effort and some grey matter between your ears to use reliable points of data and to compare then against others.

        Just as you shouldn't believe everything you see on the internet, such is the case for television and radio.

        DanCG,

        I'm not sure if you intentionally or accidentally omitted the previous other information is somewhat misleading. Remember, we want credible information from credible sources. We also aren't going to just cherry-pick out one specific month as you did.

        If we look at the information provided by the USEIA, we can compare more than just 2008-present. Let's look back a little further, shall we?

        Per the USEIA retail gasoline price history:

        1994 – $1.078
        1995 – $1.158
        1996 – $1.245
        1997 – $1.244
        1998 – $1.072
        1999 – $1.176
        2000 – $1.523
        Clinton administration average – $1.214/gallon

        2001 – $1.460
        2002 – $1.386
        2003 – $1.603
        2004 – $1.895
        2005 – $2.314
        2006 – $2.618
        2007 – $2.843
        2008 – $3.299
        Bush Jr. administration average – $2.177

        2009 – $2.406
        2010 – $2.835
        2011 – $3.576
        2012 – $3.680
        2013 – $3.575

        Obama administration partial average – $3.214

        Was there an increase? Most certainly. This process was underway before Obama or Bush Jr entered office. However, since you want to point out things, we should do this in a consistent way.

        Gas was an average of 79% higher during the Bush Jr. administration. For clarity, that's fairly close to double.

        Gas through the end of 2013 was an average of 48% higher than it was during the Bush Jr. years.

        Yes, gas is higher, but not nearly double. The cherry picked November price was a result of the financial system collapse, which if you wish to go through that again, I'm certain there is a nation out there to meet your needs.

        Perhaps it will be "nearly" doubled by the end of the Obama administration, but that is not the case at this time.

        February 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • sly

      Ann ... you are a good example of why the Republicans are a party of losers. Americans will vote for people with intelligence, and presently the Republicans are scoring around 9% in the national polls.

      Our President Obama is one of the smartest Presidents ever, which explains his success in winning everytime he proposes progressive change.

      Thank you Mr. President, and Mr. Hagel, for taking steps to slow down military spending. It's obviously a no-brainer.

      February 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  68. SemperFi

    I would rather re-shape (reduce) the powers of the president and congress and make them all take a pay cut. Besides their pay they get a daily per diem that is more then the average American makes.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:41 am | Reply
  69. topperg

    The only people upset with this is Congress. Because they are in bed with the defense contractors and know their investments are going to take a dive. This is what happens when the countries number industry is predicated on war. Needless bases need to close (there are lot that are just hanging around due to some state congressman or senator needing votes). Unfortunately it is what it is, people need to get over it or we are never going to get out of debt. Additionally, once we get out of other countries and start minding our own business, there is no threat. They been trying to scare us to death over terrorist threat and there has been alot of story fabrication going on. Our government are professionals when it comes to propaganda. We don't have suffer from lowering troop numbers and benefits if they would just shut down the unnecessary bases, consolidate the services and quit paying out big dollar contracts and not getting a final product that actually works.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:16 am | Reply
  70. Barry Boy

    Who is surprised? Every time there is a democrat in office, they cut the DOD, jimmy, billy and now barry.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • rafterman11

      Yet one of the biggest defense cuts in history came under George H.W. Bush.

      Democrats support the troops with higher salaries and equipment they need, like body armor. Democrats do NOT support propping up the military-industrial complex with buying things like tanks the Army doesn't even want, just so the red states' failing economies can continue to be propped up.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:40 am | Reply
      • devil dog

        As a Marine that served during the Clinton era I can tell you that our equipment was outdated and far from the quality that was made available during the Bush Sr. Years. Your statement is just flat out false.

        February 25, 2014 at 7:54 am |
    • jboh

      A large part of defense spending amounts to little more than corporate welfare that primarily benefits red "taker states". When the pentagon's 50 yr review of bases was last done under Reagan, several bases were recommended for closure. The same "We need every single one of them" right wing response was made. One of the "vital" bases slated for closure was Fort Laramie, Kansas. Every military base is given a mission statement that gives the reason for its existence. Fort Laramie's reason for existence was to protect wagon trains from Comanche attack. Hardly a vital need in the 1980's. Add $600 hammers, and $2000 toilet seats, and TEA/GOP whining is shown for its partisan foolishness.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:56 am | Reply
  71. bob

    I am all for closing bases overseas if we bring those troops and the millions of dollars to bases and communities here in the USA.

    There is no other a/c which can do the job the A-10 did, no other a/c could sustain the damage an A-10 can take while staying on station and in the fight. The F-35 has amazing capabilities but down in the mud fighting is not one of them, we won't be fighting Al Qaeda only, there will be a need for a close air support a/c like the A-10. The short and vertical takeoff is good but comes at a cost of reduced munition carrying capability.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • tg

      The F 35 A variant is designed for regular take off and landings.
      The F 35 B variant is designed for short and vertical take offs. This particular model was designed for the Marine Corps to replace the harrier jump jets that have in service since the mid 80's.
      The F 35C variant is designed for carrier based operations.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:43 am | Reply
  72. Wise

    With these cuts, it may be time for another false flag attack. Get ready for 911 part 2.

    February 25, 2014 at 7:10 am | Reply
  73. Jesus prefers Glocks

    We have no choice but to scale back the military as part of reducing the budget and deficit. If the GOP doesn't support that then they are not serious about getting our budget under control.

    February 25, 2014 at 6:30 am | Reply
    • Thomas

      Now we will see these "we need smaller government" types start to back-pedal.

      The MIC is a hungry mistress.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:26 am | Reply
    • jon110334

      008 Defense Spending $628 B. 2008 Deficit $240B or $0.24T

      2010 Defense Spending $663B. 2010 Deficit $1170B or $1.17T

      2013 Defense Spending $672B. 2013 Deficit $901B

      Yes, maybe the military can use a little downsize, but the smallest military since WWII isn't where it needs to be.

      We could completely eliminate the military and Obama's deficit will still be approximately the same size as Bush's 2008 deficit when he spent over $600 B on military spending.

      The problem isn't the military spending, it's the unprecedented increase in social programs.

      This whole thing is a bunch of smoke and mirrors to keep you distracted from the real problem.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:18 am | Reply
      • Scott

        The DoD is 1/3rd of our entire budget, so it needs to be looked at when we talk budget cuts. Out of the total worlds defense spending combining every single country on the planet, the US accounts for about 43%. We spend more than the next highest 10 nations combined. So yeah, we can trim back there A LOT and still be the most dominate power in the world militarily.

        Also, we are under a greater economic threat than military threat. As other countries get smarter, our populace is getting dumber because of where we decide to spend our money. We spend 3-6 billion a year on education but 700 billion on defense.

        If the DoD were funded by a separate tax that had to go up when we engaged in wars because the DoD budget had to go up, maybe conservative politicians would be less gun-ho about jumping into every single conflict that comes around in the world. But instead, we've raided the Social Security administration to foot the bills for invading other countries and occupying them. The government only owes SSA about 3 trillion dollars. Way more than we owe China.

        February 25, 2014 at 10:12 am |
      • JSB

        @ Scott.

        Since when is 18% of our Federal budget 1/3 of our total budget? Slightly under 1/3 of our entire budget is the discretionary spending amount. Cutting the mandatory spending parts is the ONLY way to balance the budget... But SS and Medicare/Medicaid isn't likely to happen until it is far too late.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm |
      • JSB

        Also @ Scott. During the last fiscal year we spent 900billion on Education at all levels of government so I don't know where you got a figure of around 3-5 billion.

        The Federal government spent around 90 Billion and State and Local governments spent over 800 Billion on Education. Hell Colorado alone spent more on education than your claim for the country...

        February 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
  74. Jim Rome

    Time to cut the bloated defense contractors, and pay our troops' health care instead.

    February 25, 2014 at 4:38 am | Reply
    • floydzepp

      Tehy already get free healthcare, a 25% raise of the last 7 years, housing allowance, and a bunch of other perks. The bloated force structure is over 50% of all DoD spending. It needs to be cut. We are winding down from wars. No ned to keep them around.

      February 25, 2014 at 5:44 am | Reply
      • unique_38115@yahoo.com

        You haven't got a clue-they do not get free health care and the other "perks" don't even come close to making things easier financially.

        February 25, 2014 at 7:03 am |
      • Bringitbro

        First – learn to spell. They do not get free healthcare – they still have to pay- just not what you are accustomed to. A 25% pay increase – please. Housing allowance – no different than getting welfare – except they work for a living. Try renting an apartment with their salary.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  75. Jim Rome

    The Pentagon has never been audited. I mean, my God.

    February 25, 2014 at 4:31 am | Reply
    • floydzepp

      Incorrect.

      February 25, 2014 at 5:44 am | Reply
    • hkirwin

      of course they have, every hear of GAO and DOD-OIG

      February 25, 2014 at 6:13 am | Reply
    • JSB

      Of course they have. Though your lack of two brain cells to rub together I don't expect you to understand anything complicated like that.

      February 25, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  76. Rick

    Getting rid of the very inexpensive A-10 is ridiculous. The benefit vs. cost of the old yet reliable and effective plane far exceeds any money saved by retiring it.
    This sounds more like trimming a few pieces of fat so they can buy something really expensive to replace it.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:21 am | Reply
    • Mtheumer

      Except for the fact that it's a one-trick pony and we have half-a-dozen different platforms that con perform the same task.

      February 25, 2014 at 3:28 am | Reply
      • DBMoran

        It is not "a one-trick pony". It handles a wide variety of ground-attack roles. Hagel's describing it as an obsolete tank-killer indicates how ill-informed he is. The USAF fighter jock culture has wanted to get rid of it for years, while the Special Operations Command, Army and Marines worship it.

        And there are no other platform capable of doing what it does: Fly low and slow, absorbing punishing ground fire, and deliver lots of ordinance on target effectively. Yes, it is an old design, but that was because the USAF and the Pentagon wanted a exorbitantly priced fighter jet - one that is going to be far too expensive to risk using in ground-support roles.

        February 25, 2014 at 4:48 am |
      • shawn l

        One trick pony? You know nothing. It's anti tank, anti building, and anti infantry. That sir, is more than one trick.

        February 25, 2014 at 5:33 am |
      • JSB

        The A10 is one of the most reliable and inexpensive platforms in the military. It excels at many missions and is difficult to destroy. On the other hand we can replace it with a fragile 50X more expensive plane or a fragile 10x more expensive helicopter that does 1/3 the jobs that the A10 is tasked with doing.

        February 25, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Grin

        Don't forget that the A-10 was able to fly and be maintained in lousy conditions that had the Apache and other aircraft grounded during Gulf One. Just because the "High Value Asset" costs more and makes some military contractor big bucks doesn't mean it actually can perform the Mission. Keep the A-10's flying and demand value for our Tax Dollar – perhaps they should start making the A-10 again if they can not come up with an affordable aircraft that does the job as well. $190M for just one AC-130 just seems like too much to pay for a country cutting troops and closing Bases.

        February 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
    • rafterman11

      We have the Apache. The A-10 is cool, but outdated. It was designed to reach the battlefield of swarming Soviet tanks in Europe quickly. It does not need to meet that role any more. The Apache is much more capable of fighting today's wars, not the wars of 20 years ago.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:42 am | Reply
  77. Mike

    These changes will hurt those in uniform and possibly our national security. Considering our leaders are not leading they won't notice the difference until it's too late. Remember this next election season because HOPE and change has completely remodeled this country for the worse. Good job Dumbo! Now go back to your hole in the ground.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:17 am | Reply
    • jboh

      Typical TEA/GOP response. We need every single one of them.

      February 25, 2014 at 7:59 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        Alright, what idea have you got. The Air Force is cutting 25K people. If you can name the 25K people that the Air Force can fire and not impact mission capability, please... by all means, do so.

        Oh wait. You don't actually know anyone do you? There's so much fat laying around because that's what you hear, but you don't actually know of any personally? Let me guess, you have a friend of a friend who said their squadron got a flat screen TV with end of year budgets and all of a sudden you're a genius about how the military can cut 30% of its funding?

        February 25, 2014 at 8:34 am |
  78. Tony

    If we cut medical, housing and other benefits for the troops and their families, why would anyone want to join anymore.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • Jim Rome

      What, you want to increase the recruitment advertising budget from 2 BILLION per year to more?

      February 25, 2014 at 4:43 am | Reply
  79. John

    Yeah. Let's cut the military. That way, they can all go on food stamps, medicaid, and other government programs because there are no jobs out there for them. We, the taxpayers, will get to keep paying them, but get nothing in return. Good plan.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:04 am | Reply
    • Rick

      The military is a welfare program itself

      February 25, 2014 at 3:22 am | Reply
      • Jim Rome

        It's growing bigger and faster than the welfare system, and has more waste. At least in five years when the male contraceptive pill comes out, that will take care of 99 percent of unwanted pregnancies and reduce our welfare costs significantly. The military however, that's a social problem that a pill can't fix.

        February 25, 2014 at 4:36 am |
      • Sherry Smith

        How about some these lazy people get off welfare and get a job and help pay some these taxes so our troops can do their jobs without worrying about getting cuts.

        February 25, 2014 at 4:54 am |
      • shawn l

        What jobs?

        February 25, 2014 at 5:34 am |
      • unique_38115@yahoo.com

        You obviously have never been in the military-other wise you'd know how silly that comment is.

        February 25, 2014 at 7:05 am |
      • Cannot Take That

        That , is a very offensive and deliberate comment.Un-needed in a fair and freed world.Retract and be fair

        February 25, 2014 at 8:23 am |
  80. mrl

    FIRST cut in forces should be those that protect the president and politicians... including Hagel... Let them pay for that out of their own personal pocket... It is a waste of tax payer's dollars for us to pay to protect them

    February 25, 2014 at 2:51 am | Reply
  81. BO

    What better way for Obama's destruction of America to be propagated, than decimating the military.

    February 25, 2014 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • Rick

      Actually in 2013 Obama signed the biggest military budget in history, $635 billion dollars.

      February 25, 2014 at 3:22 am | Reply
      • Jim Rome

        The US spent $700 BILLION last year on war and defense. And the Pentagon has never been audited.

        February 25, 2014 at 4:36 am |
      • jon110334

        Really, I didn't know $635B was a larger number than $663B from 2010.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:49 am |
  82. BO

    ABSOLUTE WORST comment section on the Intrrnet.

    February 25, 2014 at 2:42 am | Reply
    • Mtheumer

      And yet here you are.

      February 25, 2014 at 3:30 am | Reply
  83. Scott

    Let's cut the F-22...that costs what, over 100 mil a plane, yet has had revolts by pilots because the systems cause them to pass out? How will that help any troops on the ground? I mean, the reasoning is backwards. We are facing small bands of "renegades" so to speak in the decision for the budget cuts, but lets keep funding faulty 100 MM jet fighters to fight them with. This is all BS.

    February 25, 2014 at 2:27 am | Reply
  84. nytww

    When are liberals going to get it through their skulls that we need to reduce spending. Every federal program, agency, and department should be forced to cut spending by at least 30%. PERIOD

    February 25, 2014 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • Jim Rome

      Hilarious comment from a Republi-con who put us into two protracted wars costing 7 TRILLION dollars.

      February 25, 2014 at 4:40 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        I distinctly remember having bipartisan support for both wars. Heck, even one heartbeat away from president Joe Biden voted in favor of the wars.

        Maybe if you spent a little more time holding your own side accountable, as opposed to petty name calling of people who you disagree with.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:19 am |
    • SammyBuka

      The irony of the Iraq War, besides the fact that it killed 1000x more Americans than Benghazi and cost trillions of dollars is the fact that al Qaeda now has moved its central command operations north of Baghdad. It also marks the last time anyone believed the lies from the Republican side....yellow cake anyone?

      February 25, 2014 at 8:55 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        It's funny that you specifically called out "yellow cake" because I distinctly remember serin gas being considered a WMD until we found some in Iraq.

        Then, miraculously, Syria starts using serin gas and it's a WMD again.

        If that's what it's like to be a Democrat then you can to have your "yellow cake" and eat it too.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:27 am |
    • Scott

      I'm pretty sure the people crying the hardest about these proposed cuts are Republicans. I am all for cutting the military, simply because we can no longer afford to pay for extended military occupations of other countries with no tangible gains.

      February 25, 2014 at 9:57 am | Reply
  85. Scott

    Cutting the A-10 is the most boneheaded and misguided of all the cuts. They are the most effective ground support aircraft for our troops over drones and the JSX and F-22s. I find it completely a**inine to keep the JSX and F-22s over the A-10s. You can blow off half their wings, and they keep flying. The real reason it was picked...they don't manufacture them anymore. THAT is why these cuts are political. A-10s are an easy budget cut because no lost civilian jobs. And proof, these cuts are just Washington BS.

    February 25, 2014 at 2:23 am | Reply
    • mrl

      that is the point – anything efficient to run the military is being cut

      February 25, 2014 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • floydzepp

      Not really. Its an aging aircraft. costs more in sustainment that its value. Its designed as a tank and heavy vehicle attack weapon. Not a lot of Al Qaeda tanks. A better option, the AC-130 U.

      February 25, 2014 at 5:46 am | Reply
      • jon110334

        The AC-130 is known as a "low density-high value assett"... yes, it is better than the A-10, but at around $190M each it costs more than an F-22 and with a total inventory of approximately 41 we don't have enough AC-130 to even cover the sortie capabilities of the 102 A-10s they're proposing this go round, not to mention the 348 A-10s currently in the inventory.

        That's my problem with the monday morning military quarterbacks. You know just enough to be dangerous, and you're trusting enough of your lying politicians to take their rhetoric for face value.

        February 25, 2014 at 8:07 am |
      • Scott

        They just ordered upgrades to the fleet to keep it flying another 50 yrs because it is the most effective. I would not call that an aging issue. But it serves its mission. How is an F-22 going to support ground troops it cannot even see?

        February 25, 2014 at 8:40 am |
      • jon110334

        @Scott. The F-22 supports the American ground troops by keeping the enemy's Air-ground capabilities on the ground.

        Our ground troops don't know what it's like for it to be raining lead from 40K feet because we don't even consider sending them in until we have Air Supremacy.

        February 25, 2014 at 9:16 am |
      • ralph

        A F35, F22, AC130 etc.. can be taken down with a few rifle shots, a A10 can't.

        February 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
  86. Larry Rhodes

    We need our military now more than ever because of our politicians!!!! What we don't need is our politicians and their so called analysts!!!! No politician or analyst has ever won a battle but they sure have lost us a bunch of them!!!! Get rid of the politicians and analysts and replace them with real leaders and then maybe we could cut back on our military!!!!

    February 25, 2014 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • Joe Wojo

      We SPEND more than the next NINE nations combined on our military. And yes that includes Russia, China etc etc. The right wing spews constantly about waste and fraud in the social services. Strange how they can never find waste in the military But ALWAYS have their hands out for more for the military whether the military WANTS or NEEDS it or not.

      February 25, 2014 at 2:31 am | Reply
  87. mocasea

    So cut the Army 13-15% in manning, 7-9% across the rest of the services, expand USSOCOM by another 100 teams. I can agree to this. The A-10 however is a bad idea. Yes, it is aging. Yes, it costs a few billion dollars to maintain per contract period. But there isn't another plane in our inventory that can match the A-10's capabilities. The closest we have is the AC-130. And there isn't another plane we have that can stay in the air with one engine and half of both wings blown off! Before decommissioning the A-10 they need to have something with at least its capabilities, if not more, in the final stages of approval or release.

    Another place that the DOD can tighten its belt is in this idea of "spend it or lose it." An estimated $200B is wasted each year in spending money just so the bases and commands don't lose the money.

    We also need to reign in Congressional spending for unneeded materials. For instance the M1-Abrahms at $4M to $7M each. The Army has literally said "Stop making them! We have MORE than enough!" Yet congress doesn't listen. Why do we still have the F-15 being built when the F-32 and F-22 exceed it in every fashion? We make them, fly them for a couple years, strip them of their avionics and then sell them to the Saudi's. The cost $20M each to build, another million or so to fly for a couple years, and then we sell them at a loss to the Saudi's. WASTE. The DoD is full of waste, and the root of it is Congress. And why doesn't congress listen? Votes. Each of these wasteful programs (funds that could either be redirected, or cut from the budget entirely) create insecure jobs that effectively buy votes. If we could reduce the DoD budget by almost 25%, and cut an equivalent amount of waste from every major budget area, that would save close to $500B. Money that could go into paying down the debt, or redirected into creating lasting and meaningful jobs.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:59 am | Reply
  88. VegasSmitty

    I agree with the cutbacks, US troops have no business outside of US soil. Bring them all home to secure the borders and the ports. Sweep the country and deport all the illegals. Then fire the thousands of civilians that sit at desks all day and do squat!

    February 25, 2014 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • michael bradley

      Shut d h3l1 up wat have d illegals done to u but work harder than us. U prob dnt have the bal1s to fight for ur own country many illegals do u should feel ashame u $0n of @ b! ch

      February 25, 2014 at 2:24 am | Reply
  89. Fair share

    Consider not only do the active duty get housing and other benefits tax free, they reap the addition benetifts of low income families, because of how income is calculated, in the form of tax breaks. When deployed, they still get housing allowance, even if they don't maintain a residence. Amounts to thousands of $ extra pay lumped on to the other benefits. Most don't have to pay state taxes, spouses don't either, tax breaks on car registrations, even tho they use the same roads.
    Troops get 100% tuition as well as the GI Bill on top of that, basically paying for the same degree twice, is that really necessary? These programs will break the back of DoD if not put in check. Service and sacrifice should be recognized, but not financial windfall, if we don't stop the hemorriging we will collapse the military and our own country.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • mountainlady

      I don't see any military personnel living like they have a "windfall:" of cash. Why don't we start cutting back on overpriced contracts with defense contractors? Why don't we stop hemorrhaging tax payer dollars for kick backs and over budget high tech projects we don't need before we start cutting anything that our active and retired military get? You want college on the GI Bill? Go sign up. Let's see you do a couple of tours in Afghanistan dodging land mines and then gripe about what our service personnel receive. You might end up going to college with no legs, but hey, no problem right?

      February 25, 2014 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • Gfy

      You have no idea how military pay and benefits work. Until you've served a full four year tour going back and forth from deployments, leaving your kids and family, risking your life everyday for someone you don't know, and losing friends to the mission you should keep quiet and enjoy your freedoms the unknown soldier/sailor/airman/marine provide. Servicemen are all underpaid and over worked. All enlisted should be paid at least twice as much as they are.

      February 25, 2014 at 2:24 am | Reply
      • michael bradley

        Totally agree with you!!! Raise military pay

        February 25, 2014 at 2:27 am |
    • Glenn

      You just don't like how the govt. helps famillies in this instance, you are sellective and what it spend more on something that matches your political dogma. No one cares, besides no amount of spending or saving at this point matters as we are unable to avoid looming default on the debt.

      February 25, 2014 at 4:13 am | Reply
  90. mrl

    start the cuts with Hagel's benefits that he so happily pulls...

    February 25, 2014 at 1:48 am | Reply
  91. Matt

    Even at the expanded size the two war strategy does not work, everyone knows Afghanistan was put into a strategic holding pattern. So the strategy that works is win one and hold one and then win one. To do that we need 5 years and the ability to rotate a force structure of 160,000. Massive expansion is required to fight two wars at once perhaps even larger than the cold war. The size of the army is after an initial larger deployment, is a rotation of 160,000 for 5 years.

    We know that works hold one, win one, the two war strategy and capability to back it up was theory and it proved to be wrong.

    Syria is messy but so was Iraq and Afghanistan, timeline is about the same. So the ability to use air and sea power on Syria or a Libya is still a capability. Only difference is using irregulars indigenous forces. As long as we keep the Marines an integrated stand alone force we can get into it pretty quick, throw in some Rangers and JSOC, ready to go. Then the air power and sea power comes into play, then if required the army. I cannot see sand on the boots in the next two decades. We need to go home and regroup for a while. Having said that you still need the capability to deal with people like Qaddafi and Assad, we have that capability.

    We keep the carriers and the Marines, it was all on the block. Carriers need air assets and force protection. So three to four battle groups can be sent to enforce order off the coast of a place like Syria or Libya.

    Look at the size this way much is via attrition, benefits, salary etc, if you want a volunteer military you have to attract volunteers. If you want to pay people nothing you need to conscript. Less people will be turning up to recruitment centres anyway.

    It is the same in any countries bases are used to support small communities, it is politically unpopular to close them, so we keep infrastructure we don't really need. Might as well close it and throw bags of money around, it is welfare to keep it open. What we can do is redeploy people, so the base is inactive, the community dies a slow death and then we close the base and sell the land.

    No one wants cuts, it is the reality. But I am use to getting by will less, doing more with less, I came from a country that rations bullets, we have to adapt or we are dead. Trust everyone can go to sleep night safe and sound with the capability the US has. People come to the US and drool at what is at ones disposal. US military figures are use to having such capabilities, what is the absolute minimum tools need to do the job. The absolute minimum is what is being down in Syria irregulars maybe some air and naval power. Still regime change just as messy, but cheap, no sand on the boots.

    At the end of the day we can defend ourselves and our foreign policy, as Gates told people in relation to defense spending and if they don't want to do. It is their choice. But you can no longer expect the US to protect you if you are not willing to take some measures to protect yourselves. That is why NATO has a GDP level for spending you go below that your on your own. It is not new.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:47 am | Reply
  92. gregor1971

    Please move the minimum age for social security benefits back 5-7 years. When the program was enacted, there were 30 people for every retired person receiving benefits. Now that ratio is nearly 2:1. No mistake here. For every 2 people working, there is somebody on social security benefits. This is not sustainable.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:42 am | Reply
  93. gordinho folgado

    america's reputation has never been shown on the battlefield

    February 25, 2014 at 1:35 am | Reply
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