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

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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