Monday, February 24, 2014

US: Secretary of Defense Hagel Poised to Slash US Military to Pre-WW II Levels

According to NBC News, and in a shocking turn of events at a time when the US Department of Defense is war-weary after multiple tours of duty in combat zones, US Secretary of Defense continues to be a disappointment.

Momentarily, Hagel is planning to drastically cut the defense budget that would potentially place one of the world's finest military forces to levels not seen since before World War  II.

COMMENT: Hagel's disturbing plan, to be unveiled later today (February 24), EST,  is likely to face stiff opposition on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers will battle for every troop, weapons program and dollar.
The proposal calls for the Army to be cut to about 450,000 troops, down from a peak of 570,000 after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Troop levels were already slated to drop to 480,000, yet even more troops are now on the chopping block.
Hagel also wants to eliminate the fleet of A-10 "tank killer" aircraft, designed in the 1970s to go after targets on the ground. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), whose husband was an A-10 pilot, has already vowed to fight plans to retire the aircraft.
As a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, my personal disappointment in Secretary Hagel cannot be overemphasized. He did so poorly during his nomination hearings that I never expected that he would be confirmed. Then again, just look at the politically biased configuration of the US Senate today.

Since 2009, retired Army General Eric K. Shinseki has served as US Secretary of Veteran Affairs, yet he no doubt will go down as one of the most ineffective secretaries on record, simply because of his mismanagement of the services that all veterans from all wars have rightfully earned.

In the meantime, the vital needs of contemporary veterans and their comrades-in-arms, men and women both, have seemingly fallen upon deaf ears at the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Worse, veterans of both Iraq and Afghanistan commit suicide every week, largely because they are emotionally exhausted in waiting for treatment.

A final note, which is the most debilitating of all: Hagel's master plan is also to  cut military pay. Thank you kindly, Mr. President.