Image 01 Image 03

One year ago: Hagel nominated “to supervise … generation-long process of defense cutbacks”

One year ago: Hagel nominated “to supervise … generation-long process of defense cutbacks”

Political cover from Republican war hero.

I wish I had made this prediction, but it was David Brooks writing about the nomination of Chuck Hagel in January 2013:

Chuck Hagel has been nominated to supervise the beginning of this generation-long process of defense cutbacks. If a Democratic president is going to slash defense, he probably wants a Republican at the Pentagon to give him political cover, and he probably wants a decorated war hero to boot.

In The NY Times today, Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level:

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.

I’m convinced more than ever that none of our declines is a coincidence.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“I’m convinced more than ever that none of our declines is a coincidence.”

But I’m convinced it is ONE multifaceted Obamic Decline…

and by design.

He talked about “tranforming America”. He’s been giving it to us, good and hard.

Between Hagel, Kennedy (at UN) and Kerry, it would be tough to find a middling IQ. And the world is more dangerous for it.

dump a working platform (A10) for a crap one (F35) pretty stupid.

    Spiny Norman in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Defense contractors still have some count, even in a emasculated, crippled Armed Forces.

    Ragspierre in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Even given I’m a fan of the A-10, that is a totally apples and oranges proposition.

      they are dumping a platform that is still needed (and often used) today and continuing with a platform that has no good uses.
      just because the platforms themselves are not related mission wise doesn’t negate the stupidity of the decision.

        Ragspierre in reply to dmacleo. | February 24, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        The Fulda Gap and 21st Century air superiority are kinda worlds apart.

        Jeeps are still very utilitarian, but their purposes are served better by other systems.

        Besides…Air Force. What can I say…???

          well troops are still surviving in afghanistan due to the A10 and the upgrades to F15 make it better platform than F35.
          AF has NO real platform (could argue a C130does I guess) that supports troops on ground w/o A10, nothing they have will hover onsite with that firepower, longevity, and crew protection.
          my A10/F35 comparison wasn’t comparing the missions and the platforms for it but but the waste of money, dropping a platform that works and has a mission vs spending on one that has no real mission and does nothing well.the JSF is a real pile of crap truthfully, does a bunch of things ok and does nothing well. and with the JSF its not just AF but USN and, iirc, USMC also. and indirectly Army as they lose close air support.
          its literally a killer decision IMO.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 24, 2014 at 9:17 pm

          The Air Force was never in love with the ground-support role as a single-purpose proposition, was my point.

          I’ve thought that the Army should have its own fixed-wing inventory for years, but does anybody listen…??? Noooo…

          The JSF may evolve into a good system yet. Look at the Osprey. In any event, it is just a step to the unmanned air-superiority fighter coming soon.

          And my concern is not so much the hardware, but the people. We have asked an awful lot from our war-fighters.

          lol in WW2 Army did have its own fixed wing assets..the whole AF 🙂
          the JSF will never mature into anything worth a damn, by its own mission it can’t. a swiss army knife, does a lot of stuff but nothing well.
          money would be better spent respinning up the A10 line and rotating the assets into the Army. At least you get your moneys worth out of it.
          one size fits all fits nobody, that lesson will be learned in blood over and over again.

      GrumpyOne in reply to Ragspierre. | February 25, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      The mission of the A-10 is rapidly being outmoded by drone aircraft while the F-35 is an air superiority aircraft and not a close ground support. Even then, it may be replaced by pilotless aircraft next time around..

Then why is Obama, in this era of supposed austerity, creating cronyistic Institutes of Manufacturing that are being run out of the Department of Defense?

Or ADL colabs, pushing distributed learning and creepy projects like Imaginarium and a partner in the new Learning Registry component of the Common Core, but somehow set up in the Department of Defense.

But the actual defense purpose of the Pentagon budget? That’s what has to go?


Anyone who has visited military bases recently is immediately taken by the shiny new facilities that have been built. Our military-industrial complex is most certainly spending far more than needs to spend. A review of the American forces scattered across the globe makes it apparent that we do not need to be in Europe, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Iraq or Kuwait – and we need to end the costly non-war in Afghanistan which we stopped fighting in 2009.

Pax Americana is a dead concept unworthy of our current economic quandary. I have never agreed with anything that originated from the Obama Regime (and in this case, I wonder about the next shoe to drop), but neo-con Republicans need to pull their heads out of the sand and admit that the economic crisis must be addressed honestly and with the highest priority.

I am a bona fide, red-meat eating, unapologetic Conservative and frankly, this is ok with me.

In this particular case (down-sizing the military), I think Obama has come up with the right strategy by mistake.

9thDistrictNeighbor | February 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

“We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong; it is when they are weak that tyrants are tempted.”

“Peace is made by the fact of strength: economic, military, and strategic. Peace is lost when such strength disappears, or just as bad, is seen by an adversary as disappearing.”

~Ronald Reagan

In terms of the broad sweep of history, we’ve seen this Act before.
During the late 1920 until the late 1930’s Socialist France and mild socialist England engaged in a “generational defense reduction too”. During that time Germany rose from the ruins of WWI economically to become a European powerhouse. From those riches, which included significant thief from German Jews, amounting to tens of millions of Reichmarks, the Germans built the best army in Europe.

Replace Germany with China, France & England for the US and NATO and it’s a close match. Also, Germany manufactured domestic support by claiming the Treaty of Versailles was draconian(which it wasn’t). China is manufacturing domestic support by claiming Japan still owes China for the WWII atrocities.

[…] is the whole reason he was brought on as SecDef in the first place, Legal Insurrection reminds us. Obama knew that he’d take heat from Republicans for downsizing the military, but […]

Chuck Hagel, RINO and Blue Falcon*.

*euphemism for what he appears to be.

[…] But I bet Chuck Hagel would — even after Kathleen Sebelius has made such a hash of the department. Because from their boss’s perspective, socializing medicine is where the action is these days. As William A. Jacobson writes at his Legal Insurrection blog, the former Republican Senator from Nebraska was nominated to marginally placate Republicans once Mr. Obama’s prized defense department cuts occur. […]

Gotta pay for social programs somehow, so we’ll trade a little national security for an Obamacare bailout.

Expect Marco Rubio to try and redeem himself with conservatives by jumping all over this.

Expect the GOP leadership to ask pretty please for corresponding cuts to entitlements, then to reply ‘ok, ok, sorry, just asking, no worries, help yourself’ when told to pound sand by the Dems.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 25, 2014 at 2:07 am

    If the Red Jellyfish Party had a central nervous system, they’d start tooting about all the jobs that will be lost because of this, and the growing number of young people with no job skills or opportunities that the service can provide to give them a chance at a decent future.

    Obastard has soured the public on national security by his abysmal handling of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran (nukes), but opportunity and training for their young are things people still care about. There are a lot of people in our society who would have had little education, no skills, no opportunity and no pride had they not joined the military.

While I wish Obama wasn’t the one to initiate this discussion, it needs to occur. Waste within the military is as bad as we mock in the government sector, the comments written above are as honest as Harry Reid is evil. If we are to again find ourselves on solid financial footing as a country, we need to look at everything. I appreciate Reagan’s comments, I’m old enough to know the Cold War, I appreciate that history repeats itself, but we can learn from history knowing this. Boots on the ground aren’t what they used to be, our enemy is different….go ahead and call me a fool. Our world is changing, there are no more trenches or hedgerows, we need to adapt.

    Ragspierre in reply to CaldyUSMC. | February 24, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    In reality, the conservatives HAVE broached the subject of “everything on the table review” a few years back. It seems to have gone nowhere. It is sort of a tautology to observe we could spend less on X, and still get more X. Nobody in their right mind would argue otherwise.

    Like all things in the nation now (and for some time past) decisions that should not be political are often nothing BUT political. And, like all government stuff now, there is a strong tendency for the Collectivist agenda to assert itself in every nook and cranny.

    I am in awe of the lethality of our combat formations, which are miniature compared even to those we used in Viet Nam. Current doctrine and tactics are very impressive, and our kids are amazing. But they are also not well supported too often.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to CaldyUSMC. | February 24, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Nobody here thinks there aren’t savings available in the defense budget, but at the same time Obama wants to carve up our military, other branches of his government are telling us we are facing enemies and threats across the globe like never before. We need to reformulate our force structure to match the new way of war, counterterrorism, mostly, but that’s not what is proposed. Across the board cuts to current military members’ and retirees’ benefits strikes me as screwing absolutely the last people we should be screwing. A deal’s a deal. This is nothing more but robbing defense to pay for Obamacare and other domestic travesties of policy, at the cost of national security.

    You cannot lower the deficit on defense alone – comparative drop in the bucket. The money is in entitlement reforms, and Obama is adamantly against that. This will get people killed.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to CaldyUSMC. | February 25, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Bureaucrats generate massive waste, but a powerful military itself is nevertheless greatly needed. Budgetary control should be in the hands of shrewd business people with a consistent, efficient business plan, not bureaucrats and functionaries.

Chuck Hagel is the national defense equivalent of the EPA.
His job is not to help but to impede anything in his purview.

Hagel had to know that his role was to be the token so he must not have issue with being BO’s tool. Or perhaps he buys that line about how “it could be worse if someone else did it” You know the line the GOP establishment keep spewing on why the base should support the Republican candidates who s*ck.