|Each of the services is impacted profoundly by defense budget cuts. Here’s what’s happening:
China Poised to Outpace us in the Pacific
As we draw down our Navy, China continues to improve the quantity and quality of its fleet:
• Outnumbered 2 to 1: By 2020 the PRC will have 75 submarines, while our Pacific submarine force will number less than half that, at 32.
• Outgunned by 50%: China’s anti-ship cruise missiles out-range us by nearly 50%, 185km to 124km. Meanwhile the PRC is developing an anti-ship ballistic missile that can strike our carriers far from the coast.
• Cuts set to take effect next January would force a reduction in the fleet to just 230 ships, according to Congressional testimony and public statements from Navy leadership.
• Last year, “the Navy was only able to source an average of 59% of the Combatant Commanders’ requirements. Without question, the Fleet is operating now at an unsustainable level,” according to Nov 2011 HASC Testimony of VADM Clingan, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy.
Retiring the Royal Navy
The Navy has proposed scrapping seven cruisers well before the end of their service lives. The battle force missile capacity of these ships is more than double that of the entire United Kingdom Royal Navy surface fleet.
Unable to Fulfill Warfighter Demand
Given its current commitments in Afghanistan, the Marine Corps would be unable to meet combatant commander timelines necessary for success in a second major contingency operation, according to 2011 testimony from the Deputy Commandant of the Marine Corps GEN Dunford.
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE & NATIONAL GUARD
Pink Slipping 13% of Our Warfighters
Roughly 200,000 active duty service members will have to leave service. This would be the equivalent of eliminating the entire Marine Corps.
Slashing the National Guard
80-100,000 of these cuts could come from the Army National Guard. This would cripple states’ ability to respond to a natural disaster or terrorist attack, and severely limit the Army and Marine Corps’ flexibility to respond to a major contingency overseas.
Ceding Our Pre-eminence in the Skies
In just ten years, the United States has gone from a position of dominant air superiority over the Chinese in a conflict over the Taiwan Strait, according to a study by the RAND Corporation, to a place where the same organization says the United States ‘can no longer be confident in winning’ an air war against China. Over that same period, the Air Force cancelled the F-22, retired 235 legacy fighters early, and is now proposing retiring another 123 combat aircraft.