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Obama seeks $400bill in military cuts; Pentagon considers pay cuts

xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
Well, Obama ordered the Pentagon to find $400 billion in cuts over 10 years about a month ago (for more, just google "pentagon cut 400 billion"), and today, Gates announced that pay cuts are on the table to achieve that goal

WASHINGTON—The coming round of Pentagon budget cuts will force lawmakers to consider reducing military pay and benefits, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday, raising an issue that could prove politically sensitive in a time of war

In what was billed as Mr. Gates's last major policy speech, the outgoing Pentagon chief said the government would have to "re-examine military compensation," consider altering the retirement system to bring down costs, and address spiraling health-care costs.

Trimming Pentagon spending, Mr. Gates said, "will entail going places that have been avoided by politicians in the past."

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says a steep decline in military spending may force the Pentagon to abandon some missions, minimize the armed forces and possibly limit America's role in the world.

Military pay has risen steadily in recent years, as lawmakers have sought to reward troops for repeated, long deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Health-care costs have also ballooned, expanding to $50 billion a year from $19 billion a decade ago.

Mr. Gates's previous efforts to trim compensation costs failed. The defense secretary, who has served in the administrations of both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, tried to raise health-care premiums or co-pays for military retirees, but lawmakers were loath to raise expenses for military families during wartime.

But growing pressure on lawmakers in recent years to deliver big reductions in the federal deficit have persuaded defense planners that Congress may be willing to take a new look at military compensation.

In his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank based in Washington, D.C., Mr. Gates signaled that he believed reducing compensation wouldn't necessarily hurt recruiting, noting that with the exception of Army recruiting during the worst of the Iraq war, "all the services have consistently exceeded their recruiting and retention goals."

In a series of speeches and news conferences, Mr. Gates has sought to shape the debate over the next round of Pentagon cuts. While he has overseen two separate efficiency reviews, He will not oversee those reductions, however, as he is scheduled to leave office at the end of next month. Mr. Obama has tapped Leon Panetta, the current CIA director, to replace him.

Besides the prospect of lower benefits, Mr. Gates outlined no other specific cuts. Aides to the defense secretary said he didn't want to constrain the work of the budget-review team.

The Pentagon is undertaking a sweeping review of defense priorities, with the aim of identifying $400 billion in additional cuts. Mr. Gates in recent speeches has suggested he would like targeted reductions to unnecessary programs rather than across-the-board cuts.

"He has granted them wide latitude and does not want to hamstring them in any way," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

On Tuesday, the secretary said that even as the Pentagon budget is trimmed, there are a number of new weapons systems that must be purchased, including new Air Force refueling tankers, the F-35 fighter plane and a new generation of ballistic-missile submarines. Mr. Gates underscored a point of particular urgency for the Department of Defense: the military's aging inventory of 1980s-era weaponry, paid for by the Reagan-era arms buildup.

According to Mr. Gates, the military over the past decade had invested heavily in equipment for Iraq and Afghanistan—such as specialized armored vehicles to help troops survive roadside bomb attacks—while neglecting to replace or upgrade aging tanks, ships and aircraft. The net result, Mr. Gates argued, was swelling defense procurement that yielded only "relatively modest gains in actual military capability."

Efforts to reform the bureaucracy, Mr. Gates said, also have fallen short. He criticized the proliferation of top-heavy headquarters and support organizations, saying they had become a "semi-feudal system" within the Pentagon that was difficult to rein in.

Comments

  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    Hey mac, do you have a link for this article? Not calling BS, just wanna be able to cite it elsewhere....
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    Ah, sorry, I forgot to put in the link - it's a Wall Street Journal article in today's paper: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576343482047107402.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_news

    You can also just google "Gates military pay cuts" for more sources

  • lilwing88lilwing88 ChitownPosts: 2,812 ✭✭✭
    cool. thanks.
    Guns don't kill people, Daddies with pretty daughters do…..
  • Joeyjoe21_8Joeyjoe21_8 Posts: 2,048
    I always knew Obama hated our military. lol
  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    Joeyjoe21_8:
    I always knew Obama hated our military. lol
    +1
  • wwhwangwwhwang Ottawa, ON, CanadaPosts: 2,878 ✭✭✭
    Helloooo ammo and weapon shortages.
  • Joeyjoe21_8Joeyjoe21_8 Posts: 2,048
    well, guess we all know what Charlie Sheen would be saying about the terrorist really soon.....WINNING!
  • RedtailhawkozRedtailhawkoz Posts: 2,915
    xmacro:
    Well, Obama ordered the Pentagon to find $400 billion in cuts over 10 years about a month ago (for more, just google "pentagon cut 400 billion"), and today, Gates announced that pay cuts are on the table to achieve that goal

    WASHINGTON—The coming round of Pentagon budget cuts will force lawmakers to consider reducing military pay and benefits, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday, raising an issue that could prove politically sensitive in a time of war

    In what was billed as Mr. Gates's last major policy speech, the outgoing Pentagon chief said the government would have to "re-examine military compensation," consider altering the retirement system to bring down costs, and address spiraling health-care costs.

    Trimming Pentagon spending, Mr. Gates said, "will entail going places that have been avoided by politicians in the past."

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says a steep decline in military spending may force the Pentagon to abandon some missions, minimize the armed forces and possibly limit America's role in the world.

    Military pay has risen steadily in recent years, as lawmakers have sought to reward troops for repeated, long deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Health-care costs have also ballooned, expanding to $50 billion a year from $19 billion a decade ago.

    Mr. Gates's previous efforts to trim compensation costs failed. The defense secretary, who has served in the administrations of both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, tried to raise health-care premiums or co-pays for military retirees, but lawmakers were loath to raise expenses for military families during wartime.

    But growing pressure on lawmakers in recent years to deliver big reductions in the federal deficit have persuaded defense planners that Congress may be willing to take a new look at military compensation.

    In his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank based in Washington, D.C., Mr. Gates signaled that he believed reducing compensation wouldn't necessarily hurt recruiting, noting that with the exception of Army recruiting during the worst of the Iraq war, "all the services have consistently exceeded their recruiting and retention goals."

    In a series of speeches and news conferences, Mr. Gates has sought to shape the debate over the next round of Pentagon cuts. While he has overseen two separate efficiency reviews, He will not oversee those reductions, however, as he is scheduled to leave office at the end of next month. Mr. Obama has tapped Leon Panetta, the current CIA director, to replace him.

    Besides the prospect of lower benefits, Mr. Gates outlined no other specific cuts. Aides to the defense secretary said he didn't want to constrain the work of the budget-review team.

    The Pentagon is undertaking a sweeping review of defense priorities, with the aim of identifying $400 billion in additional cuts. Mr. Gates in recent speeches has suggested he would like targeted reductions to unnecessary programs rather than across-the-board cuts.

    "He has granted them wide latitude and does not want to hamstring them in any way," said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

    On Tuesday, the secretary said that even as the Pentagon budget is trimmed, there are a number of new weapons systems that must be purchased, including new Air Force refueling tankers, the F-35 fighter plane and a new generation of ballistic-missile submarines. Mr. Gates underscored a point of particular urgency for the Department of Defense: the military's aging inventory of 1980s-era weaponry, paid for by the Reagan-era arms buildup.

    According to Mr. Gates, the military over the past decade had invested heavily in equipment for Iraq and Afghanistan—such as specialized armored vehicles to help troops survive roadside bomb attacks—while neglecting to replace or upgrade aging tanks, ships and aircraft. The net result, Mr. Gates argued, was swelling defense procurement that yielded only "relatively modest gains in actual military capability."

    Efforts to reform the bureaucracy, Mr. Gates said, also have fallen short. He criticized the proliferation of top-heavy headquarters and support organizations, saying they had become a "semi-feudal system" within the Pentagon that was difficult to rein in.

    Bring those Guys home protect our Own Boarders, *** all those third world AMerican Hating *** countrys and they wont have to worry about cutting the budget.. Its BULSHIT PERIOD.......
  • Joeyjoe21_8Joeyjoe21_8 Posts: 2,048
    I wish we could pull our troops out like that...but only problem is as soon as we do we will get attacked instantly. Dam terrorist
  • ScottTDawgScottTDawg Prairie du Chein, WIPosts: 206 ✭✭
    How about pay cuts for the Senators and Congressmen? That could help more than cutting the military.
  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    ScottTDawg:
    How about pay cuts for the Senators and Congressmen? That could help more than cutting the military.
    That will never happen, I say those legislators that do not support our active duty and retirees needs a boot to the curb....that would speak louder then a pay cut.
  • JCizzleJCizzle NYCPosts: 1,912 ✭✭
    ScottTDawg:
    How about pay cuts for the Senators and Congressmen? That could help more than cutting the military.
    I'm all for it but that wouldn't even put a dent in it.
    Light 'em up.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    JCizzle:
    ScottTDawg:
    How about pay cuts for the Senators and Congressmen? That could help more than cutting the military.
    I'm all for it but that wouldn't even put a dent in it.
    +1 It would be like trying to drain the Pacific Ocean with an eye dropper. I will say that I think we DO need defense cuts, but NOT in the pay or benefits of our soldiers. The insane amount of money that is spent on different weapons and systems and research that will never be used is insane. As in all government functions, there is a massive amount of waste that needs to be addressed.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Joeyjoe21_8:
    I wish we could pull our troops out like that...but only problem is as soon as we do we will get attacked instantly. Dam terrorist
    Popular propaganda, but unlikely consequence. Why is it that common-sense budget cutting, like bringing the troops home to protect OUR country, is never what the Pentagon thinks of first? Seems like their first thought is "screw the troops", doesn't it?
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
    I think a large part of it is, if we don't finish what we started now and withdraw as things are, we'll have to come back later and clean up an even worse mess. With Iraq finally getting on it's feet, maybe some stability will come about through Pax Americana.

  • DSWarmackDSWarmack Posts: 1,426
    SEE! This is what I was talking about Puro, when you were sitting there thinking 'whats this crazed *** talking about'. This has been in the works for a while. Maybe just not in the civilian side of the news.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    DSWarmack:
    SEE! This is what I was talking about Puro, when you were sitting there thinking 'whats this crazed *** talking about'. This has been in the works for a while. Maybe just not in the civilian side of the news.
    Oh I agree with you entirely. My only argument is that we can cut without cutting pay or benefits. I think we need to take a ling hard look at the amount of waste, but you guys don't need to get cuts. That hopefully will be a career ending move for anyone suggesting pay cuts for our soldiers... Now there are some people in the Pentagon who could use a pay cut obviously.
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,806 ✭✭✭
    PuroFreak:
    My only argument is that we can cut without cutting pay or benefits. I think we need to take a ling hard look at the amount of waste, but you guys don't need to get cuts. That hopefully will be a career ending move for anyone suggesting pay cuts for our soldiers... Now there are some people in the Pentagon who could use a pay cut obviously.
    Never thought I would say it, lol.....but.......+1
  • cabinetmakercabinetmaker Posts: 2,561
    Vulchor:
    PuroFreak:
    My only argument is that we can cut without cutting pay or benefits. I think we need to take a ling hard look at the amount of waste, but you guys don't need to get cuts. That hopefully will be a career ending move for anyone suggesting pay cuts for our soldiers... Now there are some people in the Pentagon who could use a pay cut obviously.
    Never thought I would say it, lol.....but.......+1
    Did anyone hear my chin hit the ground?
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    Vulchor:
    PuroFreak:
    My only argument is that we can cut without cutting pay or benefits. I think we need to take a ling hard look at the amount of waste, but you guys don't need to get cuts. That hopefully will be a career ending move for anyone suggesting pay cuts for our soldiers... Now there are some people in the Pentagon who could use a pay cut obviously.
    Never thought I would say it, lol.....but.......+1
    I told you that you are getting soft in your old age! Haha
  • MTuccelliMTuccelli Posts: 2,629 ✭✭✭
    cabinetmaker:
    Vulchor:
    PuroFreak:
    My only argument is that we can cut without cutting pay or benefits. I think we need to take a ling hard look at the amount of waste, but you guys don't need to get cuts. That hopefully will be a career ending move for anyone suggesting pay cuts for our soldiers... Now there are some people in the Pentagon who could use a pay cut obviously.
    Never thought I would say it, lol.....but.......+1
    Did anyone hear my chin hit the ground?
    is that what that was?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    Amos Umwhat:
    Joeyjoe21_8:
    I wish we could pull our troops out like that...but only problem is as soon as we do we will get attacked instantly. Dam terrorist
    Popular propaganda, but unlikely consequence. Why is it that common-sense budget cutting, like bringing the troops home to protect OUR country, is never what the Pentagon thinks of first? Seems like their first thought is "screw the troops", doesn't it?
    yes
  • Lakota72Lakota72 Posts: 1,267
    You know, I don't disagree that our military spending has gotten out of hand. Instead of even considering cutting pay for the soldiers, why don't we start to examine the amount of money being spent on multiple fronts. OR, why don't we look at Government contracts? Companies like Blackwater and Presidential Securities have profited greatly from the government inability to predict the effect of war time expenditures. So, we can have corrupt bank owners actually get bailed out by the government while they retain their annual bonuses and yet the men and women that have raised their right hand and taken a solemn vow to defend the country they love will instead recieve the equivalent to a punishment by having their pay cut? This is absolute crap.
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 5,188 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lakota72:
    You know, I don't disagree that our military spending has gotten out of hand. Instead of even considering cutting pay for the soldiers, why don't we start to examine the amount of money being spent on multiple fronts. OR, why don't we look at Government contracts? Companies like Blackwater and Presidential Securities have profited greatly from the government inability to predict the effect of war time expenditures. So, we can have corrupt bank owners actually get bailed out by the government while they retain their annual bonuses and yet the men and women that have raised their right hand and taken a solemn vow to defend the country they love will instead recieve the equivalent to a punishment by having their pay cut? This is absolute crap.
    Bingo!
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as someone else's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • JCizzleJCizzle NYCPosts: 1,912 ✭✭
    It looks nice on paper to say Obama wants to cut 400 billion dollars in spending, but I honestly don't see how it's possible. I'm not saying it can't or won't happen, I just don't see how; I'm no expert. Contracts are actually cheaper than having enlisted forces performing those particular jobs, but in order to eliminate those, you'd have to eliminate the reason for them: war. I'm 99% certain that isn't going to happen anytime soon, if ever. I suppose one way to start would be to cut down on the number of troops coming into the military...
    Light 'em up.
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