Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will present President Barack Obama with a number of options for a new defense budget that will slash more programs leaving the U.S. more vulnerable to enemies, analysts say.
According to “This week in Defense News” Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen and Gates will seek additional ways to cut costs beyond the $400 billion in reductions made over the past two years.
In an interview with Douglas B. Wilson, the assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, Wilson said, “we have been given a mission, and the secretary will undertake it.”
Wilson said that the president is to be presented with options – each with the pros and cons if implemented. Defense officials are seeking an additional saving of $400 billion in national security cuts through 2023, in an effort to make the $2 trillion savings plan the president is seeking.
Even though the president is asking for an assessment on U.S. involvement throughout the world, including missions and threats, determining those is a guessing game, according to experts. Slashing the defense budget too much could leave the U.S. vulnerable to future threats yet unknown or unsuspected.
James Carafano, senior defense analyst for Heritage Foundation told The Examiner that Obama's Pentagon cuts are “like planning to save money on the family budget by skipping the mortgage payment.”
“Obama euphemistically talks about managing risk. But the thought that the White House can manage risks on a global scale is just ridiculous,” Carafano added. “Rational military planners talk in terms of hedging against risk–preparing for the future by being prepared to respond to the unforeseen, like a family that saves for unanticipated expenses. But hedging requires investing-not cuts.”