The Future of Freedom

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Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. The Afghanistan war continues, but it is clear that the Obama administration will soon find a way to bring it to a close, as well. With the major wars coming to an end, the American military will face increasing fiscal pressure. The United States, crippled by deficits and set to embark on massive spending in support of the Obama-Pelosi program, simply cannot afford to maintain the military it already possesses.

While America retains enough residual combat units to keep it at the top of the world’s lists of military powers, certain programs are already feeling the pinch. F-22 production was ended early, planned Army vehicle replacements have been brought into question, building of the new littoral combat ships delayed and proposed replacements for the Navy’s Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines rejected as too expensive. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has mused publicly about reducing the U.S. Navy by one aircraft carrier (the Navy made it clear that they could not accomplish their assigned tasks with less than 11 vessels). Regardless, in the words of Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter, since 9/11, the U.S. military has simply “thrown” money at any program that faced problems. That era is ending.

While the coming austerity will no doubt reduce America’s overall combat power and infuriate hawkish lawmakers and members of the armed forces and defense industries, the United States will remain powerful enough to defend itself. But what of the Free World? Logically, as defense dollars are stretched further, priority will go to securing the American interests first and foremost. That will often overlap with the needs of its allies, but not always. Nations around the world have been able to take American security guarantees for granted for three generations now. What will they do without it?

By all indications so far, defense spending is about to become unpopular the world over. Nowhere is this clearer than America’s primary ally in overseas conflicts, the United Kingdom. The kind of deep cuts to British defense spending being discussed have already led to some bizarre speculation, including a rumor that France and the U.K. were discussing the sharing of aircraft carriers. This strange proposal is made stranger by the fact that the two nations, despite their current alliance, spent centuries competing with each other … on the high seas. The idea of them pooling major warships is akin to the proverbial dogs and cats sleeping together.

Both sides quickly dismissed the rumors, but even if the sharing proposals never got beyond the discussion phase, it’s illustrative of how desperate the British are to get spending under control. The British economy is a mess and government outlays desperately need to be slashed. But the cuts to the military, including perhaps mothballing an aircraft carrier and halving the planned order of F-35 jets as well as some doubt being expressed as to the viability of Britain’s nuclear deterrent, present the specter of a Great Britain completely giving up on being a great power and turning inwards to battle deficit demons instead. The loss of such a military power would be a very grim sign for the Western world’s declining importance.

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  • blotto

    I believe we should bring back all of our troops from any overseas action or base, right now. Screw Afghanistan and the ME. We can maintain forward projection with our navy. Those billions saved could be put into rearming, refitting or R&D.

  • USMCSniper

    China and Russia are moderizing their weapons systems in conventional forces, by new sreategic weapons that include new missiles with multiple nuclear warheads, to new stealth fighters equivalent to the cancelled F-22, to new multi-missile long range SA-400 radar controlled anti aircraft platforms. And what are we doing for military preparedness? Cutting back on all weapons systems and social engineering in the military by mainstreaming open unrestricted homosexuality regardless of the objections from all the senior commanders.

    • Fred Dawes

      Yes you are so right we as a nation and a people are doomed if we as a people do not act against this insane government, we maybe dead people right now and don't know that fact yet. We may see some the cancelling of the big radar ship system soon.

  • Fred Dawes

    We as a Nation cannot go on this way ; and USMCSniper is right the only way now to stop the coming mass murder inside the USA Is to remove 40 million people here from all over the world. Lets face facts many hate our freedoms and only use it to take from Americans many come here from Islam to do jihad on us all.
    Many from mexico come here for large scale shadow communist ideals and mass murder end game.

    More and more THIRD WORLD PEOPLE are now here just to use the system and the end game is to collapse the system the Real end game IS murder of this nation and of all American.