Gizmodo points out a recently-release intelligence report that suggests the Chinese are developing an “anti-carrier” missile- basically, a short-range ballistic missile with a conventional, instead of nuclear, warhead on it. Combined with the new reports of the defense budget released recently, this has resulted in a great wailing and gnashing of teeth mostly from Republicans, of course, but there have been Democrats that have chimed in, as well- quite tellingly, mostly from constituencies that get lots of money from the “military/industrial complex”, as there have been a great number of programs trimmed and killed in favor of others.
The multibillion-dollar boondoggle of the new Presidential helicopter fleet has been canceled; the F-22 is to be funded through it’s current run, and then production is to focus on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; we’re going to trim our operation carrier fleet from 11 to 10 active carriers; so forth and so on.
This is, of course, followed by a great heaping of “The Democrats are weak on defense, they’re leaving our country defenseless!” Bush administration mouthpiece Thomas McInerney gives a prime example of this, suggesting that the only weapon that can effectively deal with Somali pirates is the F-22 stealth fighter. Yep, that’s right. Apparently, we’re not safe from Achmed the Pirate- armed with an AK-47 and RPGs, and a locally-pieced together junk- unless we utilize a $300 million dollar air superiority stealth fighter. So, logically, since the defense budget calls for us to fill the current order of F-22s put in by the US Air Force, Barack Obama is disarming America!
Among the hard-core conservative rank-and-file (more commonly known as “Internet tough guys” or “Keyboard commandos”, from places like RedState and FreeRepublic) it prompts responses like this:
When GWB became President I encouraged my son to become a Marine. He did and it was a good decision. On November 5th of last year I was very pleased he got a medical discharge and can’t be called up. It’s a good thing, too. If he did, I’d encourage him to head over the border for awhile.
The other side doesn’t see the military as the last line of defense of this nation – they see the military as yet another “electoral group” that is political and ideologically hostile to the Democrat Party.
So what’s their answer to that? What it always is – defund all rival and hostile groups, while simultaneous doubling up funding to “allied” groups (e.g. $2b for ACORN, the UAW, etc.).
Aiiieee. The stupid, it burns!
Now, there are questions about the Chinese “supermissile” above, and how much of a threat it really represents- namely, it’s not real wise to go slinging ballistic missiles about, as there are lots of people who tend to get a bit twitchy when things like that happen, and having to alert every nuclear power ahead of time kinda defeats the whole “surprise” part of the attack, and that the new SM-3 missiles deployed on AEGIS cruisers and destroyers would (hopefully) be an effective defense. This is why the United States quashed a similar program awhile back. But it begs the question- what should the future hold for the United States Military?