___ of ___
The United States federal government should fully fund modernization of Department
of Defense equipment and weapon systems purchased from private contractors.
Solves hegemony – we’re nearing the tipping point when our military becomes
Holmes and Eaglen in 2007
(Kim, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, and Director, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for
International Studies and Mackenzie, Research Fellow for National Security Studies, Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation, “Military
chiefs sound warnings of a hollow force” JR)
Why else would both the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chief of staff of the Air Force call for spending at least 4 percent of our gross domestic
product on defense, and two members of Congress introduce a joint resolution saying basically the same thing?
Because they understand that
, unless we invest at least that much each year for five to 10 years in state-of-the-art
technologies and platforms, our military will lose its fighting edge.
The warning signs are there. Today,
when the Army goes to war, it does so with a force designed to fight the Soviets
in Europe, not asymmetric warfare in the desert. The U.S. Air Force has some 2,500 fewer aircraft today
than in the late 1980s, and the U.S. Navy fleet has less than one-half the number of ships it did then. Many
of our weapons and systems are worn out or, worse, obsolete.
We are rapidly approaching the tipping point. A military ill-equipped for battle will suffer needless deaths. It's
happened to our troops before, and it could happen again.
In 1950, some 400 young U.S. soldiers - many teenagers - watched a column of North Korean T-34 tanks advance. Only days before, these men
had been on occupation duty in Japan.
Wet weather knocked out their World War II-era radios and soaked their sneakers
(there hadn't been enough combat
boots at the supply depot to go around).
Each soldier carried only 120 rounds of rifle ammunition and a dozen were
armed with Howitzers and "bazooka" rocket launchers. These weapons were effective during World War II,
but they were no match for the heavily armored T-34s.
Nevertheless, they were ordered to engage the enemy. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said an "arrogant display of strength" was all it would take to
drive back the "barefoot Asian army" of North Korea. Not quite. The men suffered 181 casualties. This disaster was a failure of Washington
leadership after World War II.
Congress drastically slashed defense spending and, as a consequence, the military
was simply unable to prepare for the next war.
This is not an isolated incident.
Today, our military faces similar
obstacles. The number, size and duration of deployments have increased dramatically since the Cold War,
yet defense spending remains historically low.
Take the procurement budget: During the Reagan buildup (fiscal years 1981