Will U.S. Reverse Defense Cuts?
Image Credit: U.S. Navy

Will U.S. Reverse Defense Cuts?


The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives is trying to reverse cuts announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year. The House’s proposed defense bill would reverse some of Obama’s planned cuts to ships, drones and warplanes. “The proposal is designed to put real combat power behind the President’s proposed pivot to Asia,” the House Armed Services Committee stated.

As part of the 2013-2017 five-year defense plan, the Navy intends to decommission early seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers optimized for air- and missile-defense. As a cost-cutting measure, four would bow out in 2013 and three in 2014, a full decade earlier than originally planned. The House has proposed to keep three of the four ships slated to go next year, letting go of just one vessel that ran aground and was heavily damaged. The Republican plan didn’t address the cruisers scheduled to decommission in 2014.

The House plan would also reverse the Air Force’s decision to retire 18 brand-new Global Hawk spy drones. The flying branch had decided that the venerable U-2 manned spy plane, originally introduced in the 1950s, was cheaper to operate than the robotic Global Hawk and had adequate airframe life for another several decades of service.

Among other proposals, the House bill requires the Air Force to maintain its existing fleet of 36-combat-coded B-1 bombers (out of a total force of 60 B-1s). In recent years B-1 squadrons have been targeted for small cutbacks.

The House also wants to boost production of new Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Virginia-class attack submarines, adding one each to the five-year plan for a total of 10 new vessels of each class.

The House proposal is expected to cost an additional $4 billion on top of Obama’s $550-billion defense budget for 2013, with additional costs in subsequent years. The House’s bill is far from final. It will have to pass a May 9 vote before heading to the Senate for another vote. Even if the Senate approves, Obama could veto the bill.

May 5, 2012 at 01:11

@Canadian Observer
America has been on drugs for a long time with its so called exceptionalism and hubris.The Afghans are so grateful that they have produced a bumper crop of opium for Pax America to inhale and China is lednding America monies to buy the opium.

Good luck to hubris and exceptionalism.

The native in America reservations will the gencide of old

May 3, 2012 at 12:54

@vec: You’ve earned your 50 cents for your blog. Congrats. Now please go back to smoking your opium and dreaming.

May 2, 2012 at 16:11

Americans will have to get use to eating hay and drinking well water then.Not even walmart can save americaunless it carry out armed robbery(Iraq is the latest) with a dwindling arsenal.Quantitative easing perhaps in the toilet.

May 2, 2012 at 16:04

No money no talk or walk.The Pax americana bully boy is exhausted.Borrowing Chinese money will do the trick?

Ask Iraqi or Afghans,Iranian,etc who is the bully boy?

Lung Sha Shou
May 2, 2012 at 08:12

You get it wrong in the first line.

China with its selective, dishonest interpretation of UNCLOS and its bullying of other SCS nations is the bully.

It is the Chinese who talk of killing the chicken to scare the monkey and asserting because they are a large nations smaller nations have to wear their demands.

Bullying is what China is increasingly doing.

They respect no-one and are using increasingly using force.

Its a pity your prejudices lead you to see the sins of one and not the other.

Lung Sha Shou
May 2, 2012 at 08:04

Wasn’t he atrocious?

A mass of contradictions, hypocrisy, and misinformation.

About the level of a toddler when it came to any kind of disagreement – “most of at the you did it too!” level, AND obviously ultra keen for a hot war.

Lung Sha Shou
May 2, 2012 at 08:02

God, wasn’t he atrocious?

A mass of contradictions, hypocrisy, and misinformation.

About the level of a toddler when it came to any kind of disagreement – “most of at the you did it too!” level, AND obviously ultra keen for a hot war.

May 2, 2012 at 04:40

oh yeah – the US is bankrupt and it treasury certificates are all air – LOL – then why does China and the rest of the world keep buying them? Last T Bill sale sold out in under two hours – because US T bills are a good investment now and investors have confidence in them! And yes – the debt is large – but when you have a 14 trillion dollar GDP it is not beyond managing.

Greece is not comparable to the US in that it does not have its own currency – the US has its own currency. Seriously – if one is going to constantly chant “US is bankrupt” then at least learn a little something about economics and facts.

John Chan
May 1, 2012 at 14:50

Nobody in the right mind will expect USA can/will pay off its debt; it is unspoken truth everybody knows. Besides what’s the point to exchange US treasury notes with USD, both of them are printed thru the thin air, that’s why USA is the biggest bandit, looter, scammer, and swindler in the world.

If One loses saving, he just has less money, he is not bankrupted; but one cannot pay back debt, then he is bankrupted. China is the former and USA is the latter, wakaru now.

May 1, 2012 at 13:44

Well, if the USA is bankrupt everybody loses. China will not see its money ever again, and the USA, well, theyre bankrupt. What good can possibly come of being bankrupt? Their rating will drop from AA to A or even maybe B if theyre really bankrupt, and then it will be really hard to recover from that.
All this “USA can only spend because China lends them money, otherwise USA would be bankrupt” or “If the USA cant pay, what will China do about it?” are all missing the point. If the USA goes bankrupt, both lose. Big Time. The point is bankruptcy. Dont think there needs to be another point. Just look at Greece.

May 1, 2012 at 09:38

Ok USA owes china money…what if USA decides not to pay? What will china do about it? Absolutely nothing…so who is really bankrupt?

May 1, 2012 at 07:37

That’s right, SPEND SPEND SPEND on military toys, don’t worry about all the unemployed young or old girls and boys!

May 1, 2012 at 07:28

No money still want to be big bully boy.Borrow more monies from your creditors to boost America a little bit longer.China here America come with a begging bowl again.When you pivot too much u get a backache

May 1, 2012 at 02:49

I just love,love to live in a $14 trillion “bankrupt” economy!

May 1, 2012 at 02:28

I agree with oro invictus – we can afford this but I always wonder if it is wise for the Congress to ignore the recommendations of the military with regards to what they need and don’t need. One wonders just how many Arleigh Burke class destroyers we really need when we already have more destroyers and cruisers than most of the world’s Navies combined! Oro Invictus is also right in that this is hardly about containing China or American imperialism – it is about pork. Our Congress loves to fund these sort of projects to make jobs for the people in their home districts thus ensuring their re-election. Better to repair some of our ageing bridges and modernize the power grid – but that doesn’t get votes.

How strange that people are so certain of their opinions when they seem to understand little about economics or the US. The US is far from bankrupt – LOL – even if that news disapoints some. I am sure too that someone will invariably say in the comments that this will be financed by loans from China – do they understand that 78% of US debt is owned by Americans and that only 7.5% is owned by Chinese investors?

April 30, 2012 at 23:43

What ever happend to John Chan? he has been MIA for quite sometime now, I hope the CCP gustapo didn’t arrest him for doing such a terrible job spreading their propaganda.

April 30, 2012 at 22:49

No, US is certainly not in danger of bankrupting itself, because you can not bankrupt something that is already bankrupted ;p

Oro Invictus
April 30, 2012 at 16:55

Ah, I can already see the comments for this article, with the pro-CPC crowd decrying this as a “bankrupt” and “war-mongering” nation seeking to “contain China” while hastening its fall by spending money it doesn’t have, whereas the “hawks” will say this is proof of US power and the futility of the PRC’s attempts to challenge US primacy (possibly with some denigration of Obama tossed in). As usual, though, the truth is somewhere in the middle; the US can indeed afford these cut reversals and is not in danger of bankrupting itself, yet these cut reversals are unnecessary for the US to maintain its primacy and would be better spent elsewhere (not to sound tautological, but education or at least R&D would be ideal). This is not, no matter how loudly the exhortations of various parties are, the actions of an declining imperialist nation nor that of a power reasserting itself in such a way to render all others involved impotent; all this is is an example of domestic politics having a pronounced international effect during a period of shifting geopolitical realities.

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