"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Report and Retort: The Dangers of Ideology

December 1st, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

By Jim Talent

I said in my November 20 article that there is approximately a $40 billion per year shortfall between what the United States is spending on defense and what is needed to fund the modernization programs that are the minimum necessary to sustain America’s military at a level necessary to keep our security commitments. Mr. Baker Spring and others at The Heritage Foundation have meticulously documented that shortfall; so have other defense experts, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Congressional Budget Office. Recently, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that the additional funding is necessary to recapitalize the force. Eliminating the shortfall would bring defense spending up to approximately 4 percent of GDP—which is why The Heritage Foundation is advocating the “4 Percent For Freedom” solution for defense spending.

As I read Mr. Carpenter’s response, he does not disagree with our budgetary analysis. To be sure, he attacks the general veracity on defense issues of both the Joint Chiefs and The Heritage Foundation—evidently no one who disagrees with him, in or out of government, is to be trusted—but he does not dispute that our figures are an accurate evaluation of the minimum necessary to modernize America’s military. He could hardly do so. The numbers are what they are. Because of systematic underfunding of the military’s capital budgets for the last 15 years, all three of the services are entering a crisis period where they must recapitalize their major “platforms”—ships, planes and vehicles—or face technological inferiority. For example, the Navy must buy new DDG-1000 destroyers, ramp up procurement of Virginia-class submarines, and buy large numbers of littoral combat ships and the next-generation cruiser. The Air Force must buy its new superiority fighter, the F-22, as well as Joint Strike Fighters or equivalent aircraft and additionally fund its strategic-airlift requirement, design and build a new tanker and develop an interdiction bomber to replace the B-52. The Army must modernize and replace almost its entire capital stock of fighting vehicles. Read more…

Related:

freedomactivist.net: How Much Defense Spending Is Enough?

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