General Says Defense Spending Cuts Could Necessitate Re-Introducing The Draft

It would seem that not even the nation’s military is above a little scare mongering to undermine the case for spending cuts.

The Pentagon is considering massive changes to the force — including a draft — amid fears that new and far deeper budget cuts are looming just over the horizon, a top military official said Thursday.

Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, offered a timeline for how deep cuts will affect the force during the next decade, including big reductions in operational budgets, slashing the size of the active-duty force and even scaling back entitlements such as retirement and health care, according to the Military Times newspapers.

President Obama has proposed cutting $400 billion from the defense budget over the next 12 years, but Cartwright said the military is bracing for even deeper cuts.

Republicans, too, are eyeing defense cuts. Senator Tom Coburn is set to unveil a plan that would reduce military budgets by as much as 10%. And, much like the bureaucrats in any arm of the government, the military doesn’t want cuts.

But saying that cuts would necessitate the reintroduction of the draft is just plain nonsense.

We waste a lot of money by having our military deployed all over the globe in positions that were first established during the cold war when we faced threats from the Soviet Union and the spread of communism. Since then, not only has the nature and origins of the chief threats to our country changed, but our technology has changed as well.

I understand the need for “boots on the ground” in some parts of the world, but America doesn’t need to have boots on the ground in Europe any more (as just one example.

Our military could be made more efficient, more effective and it could also cost less. We just have to overcome the bureaucratic opposition to change which exists in all parts of government.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • DerekG

    More scare tactics.  The defense budget needs to be tightened along with the rest of the budget.  The US defense department wastes billions each year.  Now before everyone freaks out and cries about taking money from front line troop support let me clarify I am not suggesting that.  What I am suggesting is that the defense department stop retaining officers that are clearly not going to be promotable beyond a certain grade, revisit all current programs and assess the possibility of slowing down funding, and learn to protect assets. 

    The choice to cut is never pleasant, bu it is a necessity as the US is looking at major fiscal problems going ahead.

  • badlands4

    From the Air Force Times I purchased in the Commissary last week:

    “Lawmakers denounces Air Force plan to retire six B-1Bs”

    Why you ask? Is the military being irresponsible by wanting to retire these planes? No, they want to upgrade the avionics on the SIXTY remaining planes and they don’t feel they need the six they want to retire.

    The response from some of the lawmakers? :

    “Lawmakers argue the Lancers are too important to lose because of their combat role and the hundreds  of millions of dollars they generate for local economies”

    So, these lawmakers don’t think the Air Force is capable of deciding what they do and do not need and they want to keep millions upon millions of pork in their district, regardless of what the needs of the military is vs pork to their district.

    This happens over and over again, leaving the military forced to use equipment they do not want and sucking money away from real priorities that are needed.

    There are soooo many areas that can be easily cut first. Cities and govts never go to the obvious cuts. It is always the threat or actual action of laying off firemen, cops, etc. no getting rid of govt vehicles or phones, or any of the other garbage that should immediately go. The military is no exception.

    • DerekG

      Well said badlands.  The problem is systemic.  We have become a nation of perks.  Where it is seen as perfectly acceptable for a welfare recipient to be running around with the latest droid or iphone or any other $100+ / month service. 

      This country really needs to look at it’s spending habits, all the way to the top to include lavish tax payer funded vacations for the chief executive. 

      The choice is simple.  Either everyone tightens the fiscal belt of this country, or the country WILL fall.

      • WOOF

        Paris and I will be serving Sevruga, as part of the belt tightening, to our guests.

  • borborygmi

    Lets bring it back but all children of the Congressmen, Senators, Presidents, Cabinet members are tops on the list with no deferments.

    • robert108

      So, a big helping of political discrimination to go with your income discrimination.  Lefties are so predictable.

      • borborygmi

        The discrimination came when the Senators sons got deferments.  I also believe that for those wanting us to go to war they would think twice if it was their sons and daughters in the first wave.

        • robert108

          From political discrimination to reparations, eh?  If we want a draft to maintain military strength to protect us from our enemies, why would you want people to hesitate? Make up your mind, leftie.
          Maybe you could tatoo the children of the parents you hate when they are born, so they can be rounded up later.

          • borborygmi

            already did.  Check your tailbone, the chip was inserted under it .    We know where you are. 

          • robert108

            Another leftie who has to make things up to have anything to say.

  • Ndconservative2011

    Serving our country – what a novel idea.
    Bring back the draft with no deferments except for proven health reasons.
    Utilize the lottery system if necessary.
    Other countries have mandatory military service so why not the United States.
    Bring our National Guard troops back home as the National Guard system was never designed for foreign service.  The new draftees could serve overseas just like the veterans of WW1, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.  Enough coddling of our spoiled youth of today.
    If they object to serving in the military they could serve in other areas such as community service.
    Minot needs help with flood cleanup.  Bismarck the same.  Maybe assisting the poor and underprivileged would improve their selfworth as well.  Or how about the peace corps. 
    A recent story made mention of an excellent Finnish hockey player who cannot join the National Hockey League until he completes his mandatory military service.  It works in Finland.  Let’s give it a go in the U.S.

    • robert108

      It’s not “serving” if it’s mandated, it’s servitude.  There is a difference.  The real problem with the military is that the Dems keep trying to use it for social engineering purposes, instead of what’s it’s really for:  defending us from our enemies.

      • borborygmi

        Mandatory military service seems to have worked well for Israel.

        • robert108

          And…?  I’m sure it’s “working well” for North Korea, as well.  So what?

          • borborygmi

            I am glad that you agree that it works.

          • robert108

            If you like totalitarian rule and being surrounded by deadly enemies on all sides, it works.  Since we don’t fit in either of those categories, compulsory service is unnecessary for us.  Sorry I had to spell that out for you.

          • 2hotel9

            And boob spews yet more America hate. Why is no American surprised?

        • 2hotel9

          Jews do it willingly, they don’t have to be forced, like you have to be, America hating c*nt.

  • Jamermorrow

    I don’t want draftees serving with me. If they don’t want to be here I don’t want them. If we start drafting everybody we won’t have to pay the military very much. There would be no reason for the government to increase pay or give incentives to military members. I don’t want pussy ass draftees. With all the obese kids running around who are you going to draft? The draft is slavery, and bad for the military.

    • badlands4

      Exactly. My husband would have NEVER wanted to serve with somebody forced to serve. He made a deliberate choice to serve for 20+ years. My brother and law has been in the Navy for 16 years. They both have/had made a choice freely. A person serving freely can be trusted to watch your back. A person forced will only watch HIS back. If he wanted to serve and be trusted, he would have volunteered in the first place.

      ND Conservative:

      Do you want your heart surgeon operating on you because he was drafted? Do you want an airline pilot flying your plane, because he was forced? How much confidence would you put in their skills if you knew they did not want to be operating on you or flying your plane? Why would you think somebody who volunteered to serve would trust someone forced to work as a team and watch his back?

      You may…I don’t.

      I used to get infuriated and hurt when I would hear Hollywood, etc dismiss the military or say things that were crap and unkind. I would tell my husband that you should be able to pick and choose the people who get their freedom protected and leave these scumbags on their own.

      My husband would just laugh and tell me that he served so a) his son would NOT be forced to serve, and b) he served so people had freedom, even freedom to be an a**hole.

      You never get quality when it is forced labor.

      • Jamermorrow

        well said.

    • Ndconservative2011

      Way to go – insult all of our veterans who served as well as died as “pussy ass” draftees.  Take a history lesson and find out the WWII was won in a very large part by brave troops who you describe as “pussy ass”.
      Three of my uncles were severely wounded serving during the Battle of the Bulge, Okinawa and in Africa. 
       My question is to you and those who agree with you simply is:  Who the hell are you to describe America’s brave draftees who served during all our wars as “Pussy Ass Draftees”. 
      You dishonor the draftees who were awarded Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Purple Heart Medals and the Medal of Honor.
      When I served in the early 60’s, I served with hundreds of draftees in my units – I don’t remember any “pussy ass” draftees serving with me.  What I do remember is the number of draftees fighting side by side with the enlistees, and never did an enlistee turn as ask their fellow soldier to leave the scene of the battle because they were “Pussy Ass Draftees”. 

      • Jamermorrow

        Yea I am sure they were all great. We have bad people who volunteer. I can only imagine having people that don’t want to be there. Anybody will fight if you put them into battle. Either that or they will die. Right now we have professional soldiers with college degrees, practice marshal arts, shoot in their spare time. I want people who like doing what they do.

        • robert108


      • badlands4

        Your premise of the quality of former draftees isn’t taking into account the quality, or lack of sadly, of the character of today’s younger generation.

        I am not old. I am 40, and I am aware that not all of the younger generations are a Paris Hilton kind of waste of space, BUT, the maturity level of “adults” has declined rapidly, probably starting with my generation(born in the 70’s).

        It just isn’t a rational comparison to say that draftees from previous wars are the same as those that would be drafted today.

        A large majority of draft eligible “boys and girls”(because that is how they often act) are not mature enough to have a pet, let alone be responsible for anther’s life in battle. They can’t function w/o their I-PAD, I-PHONE and John Stewart. Those that are capable have already volunteered.

        I have a 20 year old(in a few days :) ) and a soon to be 17 yo, so they fall(well, almost for my son) right into the generation that would be draft age. My kids and their friends are not particularly materialistic in the way that you would normally think; Apple products, etc. My son’s girlfriend doesn’t have her own computer, nor any kind of MP3. She does have three horses though, so their materialism comes out differently.

        We just never had the money to spoil our children, and in this area you WORK. You work on your ranch, you work in the summer, etc. Not alot of time to screw around or feel entitled.

        My cousin has kids about the same age as mine. They have been raised in Southern California; Orange county. I love them dearly, but they scare me to death. I wouldn’t let any of them watch my gold fish or water my lawn, let alone trust them to watch my son or husband’s back in battle.

        Again, this is a broad generalization and is NOT true across the board, but all you have to do is watch M-TV or the Jay walking segment on the Jay Leno show to see what I am talking about.

        My generation didn’t do a very good job of raising our children and that has just trickled down into self absorbed, insecure, entitled children/adults.

      • 2hotel9

        As a volunteer, raised to serve by volunteers.never turn you back on a draftee.

    • Dakotacyr

      so if making soldiers serve 5 and 6 tours in a war zone and then not properly caring for them when they get home with PSTD.  

      Bring back the draft, and we’ll see a lot less war hungry legislators.

      • Jamermorrow

        I do agree with that but with a draft we would have younger people which might actually make it worse.

      • robert108

        Thanks for admitting you want to weaken our ability to defend ourselves against our enemies.

      • 2hotel9

        More sh*t spew from yet another America hating c*nt. F*ck you.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    The draft isn’t economical. It costs a great deal of money to train a soldier properly. It would be a financial waste to train someone who doesn’t want to be there and will not re-enlist when their time is up. Perhaps the general is just trying to scare Obama’s people with his suggestion.

    • robert108

      A draft also requires more govt spending and control over our lives.  Dems just love that.

  • 2hotel9

    “General Says Defense Spending Cuts Could Necessitate Re-Introducing The Draft”   Really? According to GoA  and Dept Defense bringing back the draft will cost America $500 million per fiscal quarter more than the current expenditure. That is $500 million ON TOP of what we are currently spending.

    Perhaps “hoss” needs his a$$ sat down in an interrogation “suite” and we need to find out just who ordered him to spew this f*cking lie. I’m pretty sure there are quite a dew Marines who would be happy to get to the bottom of this politically motivated sh*t. 

  • Brenarlo

    It’s flat out slavery.