Aided by the allegedly liberal Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is selling a ridiculous scare story about potential defense cuts. It’s going to lead to more war — booga booga booga, be very afraid.
At a Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon has gone along with recent targeted cuts to limited targeted cuts, but argued that the the sweeping across-the-board cuts in the so-called sequestration would weaken the country’s ability to deter adversaries and therefore lead to more war.
“Sequestration is absolutely certain to upend this balance. It would lead to further end-strength reductions, the potential cancellation of major weapons systems and the disruption of global operations,” Dempsey said. “We can’t yet say precisely how bad the damage would be, but it is clear that sequestration would risk hollowing out our force and reducing its military options available to the nation. We would go from being unquestionably powerful everywhere to being less visible globally and presenting less of an overmatch to our adversaries, and that would translate into a different deterrent calculus, and potentially, therefore, increase the likelihood of conflict.”
Oh, nonsense. The sequestration cuts are so miniscule that they’d hardly be noticed except in the bank accounts of defense contractors. It would lower the amount we spend on “defense” — that is, on offense — from 47% of all the world’s military spending to maybe 46%. You know what causes wars? Governments selling war to a credulous public that busts out the flags and starts singing Lee Greenwood songs whenever they tell us who we should hate today.