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Weakening Defense

5:00 PM, Jul 22, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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“Be afraid,” Max Boot warns about the so-called Gang of Six budget proposal. “Be very afraid.” Boot is here referring, specifically, to the drastic budget cuts in the proposal, and what that might mean for America’s future role in the world: “If, like me, you care about the future of American power–if, like me, you believe the United States has been the greatest force for good in the world during the past 100 years and the U.S. armed forces have been our most effective instrument of power projection–then you should be scared about what is being cooked up among budget negotiators on Capitol Hill.”

The so-called Gang of Six–Democratic Senators Kent Conrad, Dick Durbin, and Mark Warner, and Republicans Saxby Chambliss, Mike Crapo, and Tom Coburn—are cooking up what is billed as a bipartisan package that would cut nearly $900 billion from the defense budget during the next decade. That’s more than double the $400 billion in cuts that President Obama unveiled in April. Previously, Obama had said it would not be acceptable to cut $1 trillion from defense, as proposed by the Simpson-Bowles Commission, but now he’s sounding sympathetic toward the Gang of Six proposals.

Commenting on the proposal, the House Armed Services Committee blasted out an email, reminding the out of touch senators that America is already doing more with less resources. “Military Already Doing More with Less: $886 billion in cuts is unthinkable given the current state of our national defense. Our force is stressed from fighting for over a decade.  This is a startling look at our force structure. With the military already fighting three wars, some want to cut further.”

HASC send along these helpful charts, providing evidence for their claim:

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