Of course, for the propagandized talking point Republican Tea Party GOP type mouth-breather, Barack Obama is and has always been a Communist Socialist Fascist Anti-white Black Christian hating Muslim subhuman mongrel who is also really French, not born in the United States, and was imposed on the American people as part of the New World Order with the help of ACORN and the New Black Panthers in order to take our, i.e. white folks's, guns away.
For the Right, Barack Obama is most definitely a 21st century version of Neville Chamberlain: he is actively conspiring to leave the United States "defenseless" so that a Red Dawn style invasion of "Real America" can take place.
What is the evidence for this claim? The Pentagon intends to slim down the United States Army to its "smallest" size since before World War Two.
The New York Times explains:
Of course, the military industrial complex will oppose any such changes.WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.The proposal, released on Monday, takes into account the fiscal reality of government austerity and the political reality of a president who pledged to end two costly and exhausting land wars. A result, the officials argue, will be a military capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations.Officials who saw an early draft of the announcement acknowledge that budget cuts will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries.
A society must find a balance between "guns and butter". The Pentagon's plan is a mix of the realistic (acknowledging the limitations of American military power), the pragmatic (what types of weapons systems and strategies are the best fit for the wars of the future?), and the necessary (the United States cannot afford to be on a permanent war footing and these monies could be better spent elsewhere).
However, there are some areas of concern regarding the Pentagon's planned budget cuts.
The military industrial complex is sold on the boondoggle known as the F-35 multirole aircraft. The Air Force and the Pentagon are willing to scrap a proven, cheap, and highly effective weapon system in the A-10 Thunderbolt to protect the unneeded and problem plagued F-35.
The Air Force never wanted the Cold War era close air support dedicated "Warthog". Concerns about "the budget" are an excuse to rid themselves of it.
A thought. Given that the Pentagon is supposedly trying to reorient the United States military for future conflicts, why not break with convention and hand the A-10 over to either the Army or Marines?
My second worry is how to reduce the size of the Army while maintaining the officer and non-com corps? The United States Army is now the most experienced and accomplished force of its kind on the planet: a decade-plus of combat has given its soldiers a great deal of experience that most other nations' militaries cannot match. Thus, how to find a balance between force reduction and maintaining a cohesive fighting force?
On the positive side, the United States Navy has too many carriers for a post Cold War world. The aircraft carrier is nearing obsolescence. Moreover, the emergence of hypersonic and other types of missiles, and a maturing threat from cheap and effective diesel submarines, would likely render a large aircraft carrier extremely vulnerable to attack.
Stand-off and beyond the horizon weapons systems may be just as effective as an aircraft carrier's planes in the land and sea attack roles. However, such weapons do not have the symbolic, "showing the flag", deterrence, sea lane control, and power projection ability of an old school carrier and its air wing.
How to find a balance between those assets?
The most important aspect of the Pentagon's evolving strategy will likely be lost on a media, public, and politicians that are fixated on raw numbers, and operate by a flawed logic which conflates the size and numbers of a given military with its lethality and effectiveness.
We saw evidence of this during the 2012 presidential debates when Mitt Romney recited tired talking points about Obama's plans to reduce the size of the U.S. military as signalling "weakness" abroad, and how the country needed a larger force not a smaller one--even though the Pentagon desired cuts.
The logic of Romney--and those who are similarly minded--is broken here: new technologies have greatly increased the lethality of military weapons; this is a constant of the human experience across time.
The Air War College details these changes in the context of the 1980s when the United States faced off against the Soviet Union:
In 1980 the U.S. Army estimated that modern non-nuclear conventional war had become 400 to 700 percent more lethal and intense as it had been in World War II depending, of course, on the battle scenario. The increases in conventional killing power have been enormous, and far greater and more rapid than in any other period in man's history. The artillery firepower of a maneuver battalion, for example, has doubled since World War II while the "casualty effect" of modern artillery guns has increased 400 percent. Range has increased, on average, by 60 percent, and the "zone of destruction" of battalion artillery by 350 percent...
The modern battlefield is a lethal place indeed. To place the increased intensity of the modern non-nuclear conventional battlefield in perspective, one need only remember that, in World War II, heavy combat was defined as 2-4 combat pulses a day. Modern combat divisions are configured to routinely deliver 12-14 combat pulses a day and to fight around the clock by night operations. A modern U.S. or Soviet motorized division can deliver three times as much firepower at 10 times the rate as each could in World War II. By these and any other historical (or human) standard, even conventional weapons have in a very real sense become quite unconventional.We are almost four decades past that moment (with an accompanying, if not greater, increase in the lethality of the American military and where the introduction of unmanned and robotic platforms will further change the battlefield).
Barack Obama's detractors are indifferent to the facts surrounding the Pentagon's hoped for budget reductions. The narrative frame of a treasonous black president who secretly hates America--and the military--is a ready fit for the Right-wing media and the Republican's undeserved brand name as the party of "national security".
America is an empire. It is rotting at home while wasting money on a bloated military.
National security is often over-simplified as the ability to kill, break things, and impose a country's will on others.
But what if that ability is causing a lack of long-term security by siphoning away finite resources from the real "force multipliers" that are well-equipped schools, access to health care, a world class educational system, a healthy economy, and a properly maintained infrastructure, more generally?