Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fighting Wars Under The Obama Defense Cuts

"We got hosed."

That's what my husband said to me last month as his unit struggled to keep their mission going due to the new Obama Defense cuts. They've made do with less (and sometimes nothing) for the last three years but the new cuts are really impacting his mission.

When you're the wife of a "True Blue" Airman, you know that The Mission comes above everything else. You know that anniversaries and birthdays will be missed because The Mission must be completed. You keep odd hours, constantly monitoring all lines of communication because he's out there somewhere saving the world, doing The Mission he was assigned to do. And you watch in utter horror as The Mission that your husband worked so hard for and is so vital to the country is laid on the altar of political opportunity.

The military's portion of the 2011 budget (4.3% for wars and 14.4% for the DoD) seems small in comparison to the entitlements (60.9%) that dominate the rest of the national budget. Yet it seems that the military's budget is always the first to be criticized, maligned, and put on the chopping block. The comfort of Baby Boomers is put ahead of the needs of the young men and women fighting for our nation. The military is now cutting 67,100 troops at a time when we need their service more than ever.

We don't fight wars like we used to, that's for sure.

With new technology and asymmetrical warfare, it's doubtful we'll ever see something like World War II ever again. But some things just haven't changed in the Air Force (known as the Army Air Corps back then). We still need highly-trained and motivated Airmen to operate equipment and give air support. For every "pointy end" of the spear, there's a "shaft" of support behind it and someone's got to decide where that spear will do the most damage. These Airmen need to constantly keep up on their training and be supported as they serve 6-12 month deployments.

Obama and his liberal minions want to cut that support. Their simultaneous proposals of new unconstitutional wars and special forces deployments while slashing the budget and feeding our troops lettuce is pure cognitive dissonance. The Bush-era mantra of "support the troops, not the war" has completely broken down as the Obama administration goes after not only the monetary support of the troops but also their morale; as certain policies are implemented in an attempt to unravel the moral fabric of the greatest military on the face of this earth.

In three years our military has taken a lot of friendly fire, drawing many comparisons to the home front of the Vietnam War. But there is hope. Missions have been completed and wrapped up (bin Laden, Iraq, and countless others that won't be publicly known for decades) and the military hangs on, pushing forward for the nation's survival. And the American people keep supporting our military with care packages, town-organized parades, and genuine thanks when they see our troops in uniform.

Don't let the military take this flak on their own. The fiscal wreck that this country is in does not need to be fixed by sacrificing our Constitutional mandate to defend it. We need to support plans like Representative Ryan's that fix the entitlements that are drowning us in deficits and the loopholes that make our tax code incomprehensible. Cutting readiness now means we'll pay for it later, as the Global War on Terror proved.

Hold politicians accountable when they promise to support the military! And when you get overwhelmed, remember the immortal words of someone in my husband's unit: "This is America, damn-it!"

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