While I don’t always agree with Frank Gaffney, his op-ed in The Washington Times this morning was almost spot on.
The world IS changing, and it’s changing FAST. We need to enhance our national security by moving away from old Cold War thinking – to understand, adapt, and counter the threats we face today.
Right now, the DoD budget process and sequestration are stopping that from happening. The blind cuts, the congressionally mandated spending, and a strategy unaligned with today’s environment are creating real dangers. As The Economist put it this week, “outdated programs would be over-funded and vital new ones starved of cash.”
Gaffney noted: “The ripple effect of deferring or canceling weapon systems and other modernization programs, reducing training, sacrificing readiness and terminating research and development will translate into tens of billions of dollars not spent by workers in the economy.”
He also correctly linked this outcome with the Congressional troubles through the Export-Import Bank – which supports the US
manufacturing base by underwriting guarantees, and by doing so supporting our defense industrial base exports. This system does not just act as a vital part of our economy, but also allows our defense industrial base to spread costs and create new markets. This not only ensures we get the best price for our defense products and can operate them in a number of countries, but it also greatly adds to the US economy.
Right now, Congress wants to halt this facility.
In his op-ed, Gaffney states: “Such cuts to Export-Import Bank loan guarantees, coming on top of sequestration-mandated reductions, will be ruinous for the defense industrial base. The Center for Security Policy has assessed the impact of the prospective bank cuts on each of the 50 states, in addition to $50 billion cuts per year associated with sequestration. If foreign customers cannot find credit without backing from the bank, those losses will grow significantly.”
It is urgent that we reexamine our national security strategy as a whole, and fit the budget and other facilities like the Export-Import Bank within what our country needs in this fast changing world.