Defense cuts penny-wise, pound foolish

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Iran will not stop short of developing a nuclear weapon unless it thinks the United States is able and willing to respond with military force (“Iran: Uranium enrichment to be expedited,” Web, Wednesday). Yet the unprecedented defense cuts that are part of the “fiscal cliff” could undermine the credibility of U.S. military capabilities, effectively prompting Iran to call our bluff.

Airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities would prompt counterstrikes against allies or troops in the region, potentially forcing the United States to respond with broader naval and air attacks as well as ground troops. Yet, we’d be going to war with a military eviscerated by the “devastating” fiscal cliff defense cuts, to quote Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta.

In the worst-case scenario, Iran could threaten to launch a nuclear long-range ballistic missile at a U.S. city — a capability Tehran is developing. The independent National Research Council recommends strengthening our missile defenses against Iran by expanding our homeland missile defense, known as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. Proposed budget cuts could cancel these needed improvements despite the fact that the budget for GMD is so small that eliminating it would not significantly reduce the deficit.

Mindless defense cuts might save pennies today but will cost us dearly tomorrow by exposing us to threats like a nuclear Iran.


U.S. Army, retired

President, Human Capital Management

Carmel, Ind.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts