Friday, January 14, 2005

'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse'

By way of Hit and Run, I note with sorrow and a bit of anger that the Air Force is struggling with its budget as well as manpower. A couple of key 'graphs from
On manpower:
"The Air Force is also concerned that it may run into a manpower shortage when time limits on active duty use of National Guard and Reserve troops begin to expire.
"THE GUARD AND RESERVE were designed to be called up for a war of national survival or something of short duration like Desert Storm [in 1991]," the third official says. "They were not designed for the global war on terrorism where there's high operational tempo for a very long time. We need a bigger active-duty force and a smaller Guard and Reserve. But it will be a terrific problem to come up with the necessary money. One plan is to have the Guard and Reserve run the bases and infrastructure while the active-duty forces go off to war."

On budget cuts:
"Furthermore, the administration may be planning further attacks on modernization spending. One industry official says the Pentagon may reprogram about $8 billion in Fiscal 2005 funds, shifting the dollars from modernization to pay war costs. OMB may also be preparing a 20% spending reduction mandate on all federal agencies, to help offset war expenditures. "

Unlike some of my peers, I support a vigorous defense budget. My own military experience has informed my opinion, and I have seen what happens when the military has to deal with a lack of manpower and supplies. Cannibalizing aircraft is a very bad thing to do, folks, and it gets done all the time. And now, this damn Iraq war is causing the military to AGAIN struggle in key areas. We are cutting important projects to pay for this fiasco! Ridiculous!

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