Four Imperatives for Cutting the Defense Budget

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Four Imperatives for Cutting the Defense Budget

March 2, 1990 32 min read Download Report
Jay P.
Contributor, The Foundry

(Archived document, may contain errors)

757 March 2,1990 FouRlMPmm FOR CG THE DEFENSE BUDGGT INTRODUCTION The congressional clamor for a peace dividend is rising and with it a rush to slash deeply into George Bushs fiscal 1991 defense budget.The fact is that there already has been advidend from the Pentagon. The United States defense budget has declined 14 percent when adjusted for inflation over the past five years. The money available for buying new weapons has dropped by nearly 50 percent. More telling, Bushs 1991 defense budget will represent about 5 percent of U.S. gross national product, approaching its lowest level in the past four decades?

Given developments in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, conti nued reductions in American defense outlays are warranted. In fact, Bush should be able to throttle back defense spending by another one percent to two per cent this year. But these cuts should be made cautiously and deliberately.

They should be made in areas where the threat to the U.S. has receded. And they should be made in a way that will allow America to reverse course quick- ly should the need arise.

Hedging-Bets. The Soviet Union remains, for the time being, a formidable military power. In some way s, risks to America are greater because of the political uncertainty in Moscow and the rest of the U.S.S.R. It thus makes 1 Budget briefrng by Department of Defense Controller Sean OKeefe January 27,1990. 2 Based on figures in Department of Defense, Ofice of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs News Release No. 29-90, FY 1991 Budget Request. sense for the U.S. to hedge its bets about the potential decline of the Soviet military threat just a little longer.

Bushs 1991 Pentagon budget of $295 bi llion is 2.6 percent less than the 1990 budget when inflation is taken into account. It strikes just about the right balance between the hope that a changing world soon will make deeper reductions possible and the reality that Soviet military might still r equires balancing by American military power. For the most part Bushs cuts are on target He wants to trim the Army, close some military bases, cancel such programs as M-1 Abrams tank and Apache helicopter, and reform Pentagon management to reduce waste. B u sh can push these cuts a bit further, by delay ing or cutting back some new aircraft programs (like the Air Forces C-17 transport and B-2 bomber), putting another Army division into the Reserves and cancelling some programs likely to be anachronistic by t h e time they are ready to be deployed (like the Follow-on-to-Lance short-range missile Meeting U.S. Needs. Perhaps more important, Bushs budget protects programs that counter Soviet capabilities and meet other U.S. worldwide defense needs, such as the Stra t egic Defense Initiative (SDI strategic nuclear forces (like the MX land-based ballistic missile naval forces (such as aircraft carriers Special Operations Forces needed to combat terrorism and other threats in theThird World, and research programs which a d vance U.S technology, such as the National Aerospace Plane If Soviet capabilities in Europe continue to decline, the U.S. could pocket an even greater peace dividend than already has been earned. When this hap pens, Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Chen e y must approach the Pen tagon budget with a scalpel, not a cleaver.They must identify the threats facing America and then determine the programs, systems, weapons, and per sonnel required to meet them. In this process, the White House and Pen tagon should be guided by four imperatives IMPERATIVE #1: Make no deep budget cuts until Soviet capabilities decrease substantially Despite some cutbacks, the Soviet Union still retains nuclear and conventional military forces able to challenge U.S. interests worldwid e , including in Europe. American defense budget cuts should not outpace declines in Soviet military capabilities IMPERATIVE #2: Protect programs essential to meeting current and ex The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI Strategic nuclear forces, particularl y land-based and submarine Research and development into advanced technologies and new weapon pected threats, including: launched missiles systems, such as those needed to improve U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities 2 4 Programs critical to military m o rale and professionalism, such as 4 Power projection forces capable of being rushed to defend American in training time and benefits for military personnel terests around the world, including the Navy, Marines, and Special Opera tions Forces such as anti- t errorist units IMPERATIVE #3: Find savings in response to a changing threat by 4 Reducing the size of the Army to correspond to what is almost certain to be a reduced military threat in Europe 4 Reevaluating Air Force new aircraft programs, including the C -17 cargo plane, Advanced Tactical Fighter ATF and the proposed B-2 stealth bomber, with an eye toward delays and program cutbacks. If the Soviet threat in Europe continues to recede, the U.S. will need fewer cargo planes like the C-17 to rush troops to a European war, and may not need a new advanced fighter in the next few years. Meanwhile, an extended testing program and slower initial procurement of the B-2 could give the U.S. needed time to reas sess the size and role of the B-2 fleet in its post-Strat egic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) nuclear arsenal in Europe, including the Follow-on-to-Lance (FOTL) short-range nuclear missile 4 Delaying U.S. new Army weapons programs geared toward a major war 4 Eliminating less important military bases.

IMPERATIVE 4: Plan for deeper cuts in the future. A changing world will require a fundamental restructuring of American military forces as the U.S. shifts its military priorities and strategies away from Europe and toward other areas of the globe.To restructure effect i vely, the Pentagons civilian controlled planning office under Defense Secretary Cheney will have to gain greater control over the Pentagons budgeting process, which traditionally is controlled by the military services whose parochial interests often block strategically sound cuts in military programs THE CHANGING SOVIET MILITARY THREAT For more than four decades, U.S. armed forces have been armed and or ganized to fight a global war started by a Soviet invasion of Europe. While this assumption is likely to change in coming years, it still remains a valid planning priority for the Pentagon The Soviet Union still stations about 575,000 troops in Eastern Europe; it still deploys over 12,000 strategic nuclear weapons capable of waging limited or total war again s t the U.S and it still maintains an increasingly modern navy of over 700 submarines and sur face ships capable of challenging U.S. interests over much of the globe. In the meantime, a two-decade Soviet military buildup, which continued to ac 3 celerate un t il just last year, has created a tremendous reservoir of military power in the hands of the Kremlin leadership Soviet Decline. Yet there are signs that Soviet military power in the world has crested and may decline rapidly. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is divesting the Soviet Union of its East European empire and the governments emerging from the East European revolutions of 1989 are likely to send Soviet forces packing soon.-As important if not more so, these revolutions show no sign of stopping at the Soviet border. The U.S.S.R. itself may begin to break up If these trends continue, the U.S. will be able to defend and as sert its interests in the world with a far smaller and cheaper military force than it fields today. In the meantime, however, the U.S . needs forces capable of responding to Soviet military threat as it is -not as it may be.

Soviet military spending last year probably dropped only by about 1.5 er cent following five years of annual increases averaging about 3 percent. Gor bachev and othe r Soviet officials have talked about far dseper cuts in coming years, specifically of an eight percent reduction this year. Despite these pronouncements, Georgiy Arbatov, the head of Moscows USA and Canada Institute and a one-time enthusiastic supporter o f Leonid Brezhnevs military buildup, revealed on Soviet television in mid-December that currently planned decreases in Soviet military programs do not add up to the cuts that have been promised?

Strategic Weapons. One area of military modernization in whic h Moscow has shown little sign of letting up is strategic nuclear forces, particularly its land-based intercontinental missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched mis siles (SLBMs Moscow continues to deploy new mobile SS-24 and SS-25 ICBMs and now has fielded about 230 of them. Washington expects that within a few years these two missiles will comprise half of the Soviet land based missile force! By contrast, the U.S. has yet to field its proposed rail based MX mobile missile or single-warhead Midgetman mobile missiles.

Moscow also has deployed two new versions of its SS-18 heavy missile with up to 30 percent more throwweight, or the capacity to lift warhead payloads into space. One of these, the so-called Mod 5, carries ten highly 3p 3 The Pentagon has confirm ed a decline. See Molly Moore, Soviet Defense Spending Cut As Promised Washington Post, November 15,1989, p. 1 4 Soviets Announce a Cut in Military Budget of 8 Baltimore Sun, December 16,1989, p. 4 5 Arbatov on Economic Development, MoscowTelevision, Dece m ber 16,1989, transl.FBIS Soviet Union December 18,1989, p. 68 6 U.S. Department of Defense, Soviet Militay Power, 1989, p. 45 4 accurate warheads capable of striking U.S. missile sites. The "Mod 6" is reported to carry a single warhead of 20 megatons, or 2 0 million tons of TNT by contrast the largest warhead carried by a U.S. missile, the Minuteman 11, is just over one megaton New and very capable Soviet Typhoon and Delta IV ballistic missile submyines were launched last year and additional Delta Ws are un d er production. The Soviets have deployed fifteen new Blacljack long-range bombers, which are comparable in capability to the U.S. B-1B bomber, but its production rate is slowefthan anticipated by the Pentagon about six or seven per year Conventional weapo n s production.The Soviet Union began slowing tank production last year, which in 1988 had reached a post-World War II high of 3,700 tanks per year. Lasljear the Soviets built about 1,700 tanks compared to about 480 for the U.S. Moscow, moreover, has deploy e d a new version of its most modern tank, theT-80, with additional armor, a new diesel engine and an improved system for aiming and stabilizing its gun NATO Supreme Allied Commander General John Galvin noted in December that production rates for other Sovi e t conventional forces such as artillery and armored fight ing vehicles are increasing Soviet naval and power projection forces. The Soviet Union continues to expand its fleet of nuclear attack submarines, the major threat to the U.S navy, at a rate of fiv e to six new boats per year. In addition the first Soviet large deck aircraft carrier is making its initial trial runs at sea while two more are being built.There has been no cut in the production rate for such major surface combat ships as cruisers and de s troyers.12 Nonetheless, the total num ber of Soviet naval ships will shrink as a result of retiring ships built in the 1950s. Soviet naval forces, meanwhile, have diminished their training and steaming time far from Sovie shores by about 25 percent, but h a ve expanded operations in nearby waters Gorbachev's unilateral cutbacks. Gorbachev promised in his December 7 1988, speech to the United Nations to cut the Soviet military by 500,000 within two years, to withdraw 5,OOO tanks and 50,000 men from Eastern Eu r ope, and to reduce Soviet forces in the western Soviet Union by 10,000 tanks, 8,500 artillery pieces and 800 combat aircraft 9 23 7 CIA Director William Webster cited in Defense Daily, January 25,1990, p. 127 8 Statement of Central Intelligence Director W illiam Webster before the Senate Armed Services Committee January 23,1990 9 Bid.; Soviet Militaty Power, p. 46 loSoviet figure according to House Armed Services Chairman Les Aspin Soviets Cutting Forces Aspin,"

Defense Daily, January 22,1990, p. 98 11 "New T-80 Variant Jane's Defense Weekly, January 6,1980, p. 6 12Norman Pohar,The Soviet Navy, U.S. Naval Institute keedngs, January, 1990, pp. 132-134 13 Policy Guidelines for 1991 Budget, unpublished, House Armed Services Committee, 1990 5 Moscow so far has w ithdrawn half of the promised 5,OOO tanks from East ern Europe and the withdrawal continues. Many of these weapons, however are stored in the Soviet Union or reassigned to other divisions in Europe and the Soviet Union rather than being destroyed or conve r ted to civilian use as promised by Gorbachev in his U.N. speech.14 Other combat equipment, such as armored troop carriers, artillery, and air defense guns associated with the tank divisions withdrawn from Eastern Europe are simply reassigned to other divi s ions in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.This redeployment has convinced Western analysts that actual Soviet combat power will decline only by about 10 percent as a direct result of the withdrawals.15 Independent East Europeans. Gorbachevs unilateral c u ts are not the only factor weakening Soviet power in Europe. Roughly one-third of the Warsaw Pact divisions facing NATO in Central Europe belong not to the Soviet Union but to Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and other putative Soviet allies . Given the growing independence of these countries and their armed forces from Soviet control, it becomes increasingly likely that these forces would not be available to Soviet military commanders during wartime and could even fight against the Soviets in an attempted in vasion of Western Europe.16 Non-Soviet Warsaw Pact countries also have an nounced deep cuts in their own military spending and deployments and have become more independent: Hungarian Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth an nounced in December that Hungary no longer regards any member of NATO as a threat.17 As East Europeans become more independent, they are taking steps to expel Soviet forces from their territory. Czechoslovakia and Hungary now are negotiating with Moscow for the removal of Soviet troops, and Lech Walesa has asked for Soviet troops to be withdrawn from Poland as well.

Furthermore, NATO and the Warsaw Pact have agreed on the outlines of a Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement which, if signed as ex pected later this year, wil l require the Soviet Union to withdraw at least 380,000 of its 575,000 troops from Eastern Europe and destroy about 100,OOO major items of military equipm nt including tanks, other armored combat vehicles, artillery, and aircraft nationalities crisis whic h already has seen Soviet troops sent to quell a seces sionist movement in Azerbaijan, and a political crisis which has brought into S At home the Soviet leadership faces a deepening economic crisis, a 14See U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Arme d Services, Status of the Soviet Unions Unilateral Force Reductions and Restructuring of its Forces, October 16,1989 15Statement of Ted Warner, RAND Corporation, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, January 24,1990 16See Charles W. Corddry, Soviets Will Lose Control of Armies, Analysts Say, Bultimore Sun, January 16 1990 17Radio Free Europe Background Report, Major Reorganization of Hungarys Military Establishment December 29,1989 18 See Jay Kosminsky, A U.S. Agenda for the Conventional Forces ReductionT a lks, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 725, September 1,1989 6 question the willingness and ability of the Communist Party to remain in power. On the one hand, domestic travails promise to keep the Kremlin leadership preoccupied with internal events fo r the foreseeable future. On the other, the volatile Soviet domestic situation increases the range of uncer tainty that American leaders must weigh when looking at future Soviet be havior A coup detat could bring Russian nationalists or communist hard line r s to power who might seek to reverse the disintegration of the Soviet em pire in Eastern Europe. A civil war between Soviet nationalities, such as the Azerbaijanis and Armenians, between factions of the Red Army, or perhaps between the Army and the KGB co uld dissolve the Soviet Union, with the chaos and fighting spilling into Eastern Europe. In such a situation, nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of desperate and unpredictable forces.

Non-Soviet threats to U.S. interests.The U.S. faces a myriad of other, and often serious, threats to its global interests aside from Soviet military power.

These include terrorism, the drug trade, regional conflict, and insurgency war fare.Third World countries are increasingly well-armed Iraq has about 4,500 tanks, Syria about 4,0

00. Much more alarming is the fact that as many as 22 Third World countries are developing or have bought ballistic short- or medium-range missiles, which in coming years could be adapted to deliver chemical and in some cases nuclear weapons.lg The Soviet Union continues to pour 15 billion in support annually intoThird World governments such as Angola, Afghanistan, and Cuba militarily fighting American interests. Increas ingly over the next few years the U.S. military will have to be restructured to better cope with threats outside of Europe, regardless of how Soviet military capabilities evolve FOUR IMPERATIVES FOR CUG THE PENTAGON BUDGET I While Soviet military capability has declined somewhat, particularly in Europe, it has not done so irreversibly. In s o me areas of military power, like nuclear arms, the threat continues to increase.Thus while the Soviet military may be shrinking, it also is being restructured to field a smaller but higher quality force capable of better exploiting advanced technology As such America continues to require a military force with the size, firepower, quality and versatility to respond to what remains a formidable Soviet military threat and to lesser challenges to U.S. interests around the globe.

The Bush Pentagon budget for fi scal 1991 recognizes this;striking a balance between maintaining a hedge against what remains a formidable 19Baker Spring, Meeting theThreat of Ballistic Missiles in theThird World, Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 726, September 21,1989 7 Soviet mili t ary threat and at present at least, is in recognizing that Soviet power Pentagon Budget Authority Billions Current S + Fhul lo86 S Pentagons budget each year through 1995, although actual spending levels could be far dedine. Bushs budget proposes for the Pentagon 295.1 billion in budget authority in 1991; this is 2.6 percent below 1990 spending level when adjusted for infla tion also is planning to trim tion.

B The Bush Admiistra another 2 percent from the less or far more depending on how the Soviet and other military threats evolve.

Bushs defense budget is a good start. But only a start. He and his Defense Secretary, while remaining prudent, also could be more entrepreneurial and find savings that would slice an extra percent or two from the Pentagon bud get. In this process of course, the White House, Pentagon, and Congress must recognize that there are some programs that should be protected just as there are some to be cut further.To ensure that spending reductions are made according to a plan, and not m ade haphazardly, four imperatives should guide the funding of Americas defense poo 260 200 lo011 low 1907 100 1080 (990 1001 Fiscal Year IMPERATIVE #1: Make no deep cuts until Soviet capabilities decrease substantially An assessment of Soviet military mig h t reveals a modest decrease in Soviet capabilities and a somewhat greater decrease in Moscows apparent will and ability to employ its forces in strength abroad. Over the longer term this could allow America to reduce defense spending substantially without jeop ardizing its security.

For now, however, only modest cuts are in order. Deep cuts in the 1991 defense budget would bring into question Americas willingness and ability to defend itself and its allies against the continued Soviet threat.

Under optimi stic projections, there will be a substantial reduction in Soviet military capability over the next few years. An East-West Conventional For 2OBudget Authority is the amount set aside in the 1991 budget for the Pentagon to spend, although not all will be s pent in that year. For example, money authorized for an aircraft carrier this year would be spent over the several years it would take to build the ship. Defense outlays reflect the money the Pentagon will spend this year. Proposed defense oulays for 1991 are $292.

1. Outlays are what will show up in the 1991 budget deficit 8 ces in Europe (CFE) agreement is likely to be signed in Vienna this year Soviet forces may be pushed out of Eastern Europe altogether by their puta tive allies; and Soviet leaders may decide on deep defense cuts in the coming years. Such developments would change Washingtons basic assumptions about the military threats facing America and about the strategies and forces needed to meet them. Undoubtedly this would permit major cuts in U . S defeme spending.,The U.S for exgmple, would be-able to bring home most of its 320,000 troops in Western Europe made the sacrifices necessary to contain Soviet expansionism. It is this patience and tenacity that have, at last, begun to defeat the Soviet Union.

This then is no time for the U.S. and the West to become dizzy from success.

Patience, perseverance, and tenacity are still needed and will be rewarded.

As the Soviet empire collapses, for example, the U.S. faces a range of events that may threate n peace. Or the Soviet Union could implode from eth nic conflicts. Or a new Soviet leadership could try to reverse the demise of the Soviet empire. Keeping Americas guard up during these waning days of the Cold War is a prudent hedge against uncertainty. P remature deep cuts in U.S. military capability could leave America vulnerable during what may yet turn out to be a rocky turning point in world history For more than four decades, however, America and its allies patiently have IMPERATIVE #2: Protect key p rograms and capabilities.

Trimming the Pentagon should respond to real, in contrast to promised changes in Soviet military capabilities. It thus would be a grave mistake to im pose across the board cuts which affect all the military services equally or all segments of the defense budget equally.This is the problem with mandatory cuts triggered by the Gram-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction bill of 1985.

Mindless across-the-board cuts would jeopardize U.S. security in such areas as strategic nuclear forces i n which the Soviets continue to build. Cuts also should take into account the possibility that the Soviet Unions slide as a world power will not proceed smoothly.The U.S for example, cannot begin pulling its own forces back from Europe until large numbers of Soviet forces start to leave as a result of a CFE Treaty or because they are kicked out by East Europeans. Finally, the budget should begin to reflect the need to reorient U.S. defense toward such new threats as global ballistic missile proliferation.

Given these guidelines, the 1991 Pentagon budget should Fund fully the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).

Bush has requested that Congress provide $4.66 billion for SDI in fiscal 1991, up 22 percent from last year.This establishes SDI as a top defense priority, Indeed, there has been no slackening of the Soviet ballistic missile building program, the weapons a gainst which SDI is designed to protect America. The U.S. spends almost $300 billion a year to defend its interests around the globe, but still has not deployed a single weapon to defend U.S 9 territory against the only serious threat to American suMval - ballistic mis siles armed with nuclear weapons. As U.S. defense requirements in places like Europe decline in coming years, more money should be made available to defend against this potential threat to American territory.

The ballistic missile threat to t he U.S moreover, is likely to grow. Todays political instability and armed conflict inside the Soviet Union itself is a reminder that the U.S. cannot be altogether certain which group or groups such as Muslim fundamentalists in Azerbaijan or rogue KGB sec ret police forces in Russia itself may come to control parts of the Soviet nuclear ar senal. As serious, according to CIA Chief William Webster in his statemenil to Congress last month, is ballistic missile proliferation in theThird World.

Argentina, India , Iran, Iraq, Libya, and probably other countries have missile programs which could develop a long-range nuclear missile capability in the next decade 4 Preserve most strategic nuclear capability The Bush defense proposal protects the full array of U.S. s t rategic weapons programs.The 1991 budget requests 1.4 billion for a Trident mis sile submarine and another 1.5 billion for T&nt 11 submarine-launched bal listic missiles 2.88 billion to deploy twelve MX ICBMs on railcars 202 mil lion for development of th e mobile single-warhead Midgetman ICBM; and 5.5 billion for five B-2 stealth bombers, the Air Forces state-of-the-art long-range warplanes designed to be nearly invisible to Soviet air defense radars. Given the robust Soviet strategic program, which includ e s production of two new mobile missiles and continued modernization of the ten-warhead SS-18 class of ICBMs, U.S. strategic weapons programs should continue to receive high funding priority. These programs also give needed bargaining leverage to the Ameri c ans in Geneva in the final stages of negotiating a U.S Soviet Strategic Arms Reduction (START) agreement. Top strategic modern ization priorities are the Trident 11 submarine-launched ballistic missile pro gram, the Midgetman missile, and the rail-based M X missile 4 Safeguard funding for research and development The Bush Administration is requesting $38 billion for research and development into new technologies and weapons systems, up just over 1 bil lion since last year. Examples: anti-submarine warfare r e search; semiconduc tor technology research; and advanced propulsion and materials research through such programs as the National Aerospace Plane, a spacecraft which will take off and land like an airplane. Technological sophistication tradition ally has g iven American arms a critical advantage over potential adversaries.

Even if U.S. armed forces shrink in size, they should continue to be equipped with modem and effective weapons 21Statement of the Director of Central Intelligence before the Senate Armed S ervices Committee, January 23 1990 10 Military research and development also are important hedges against a reversal of Soviet policy in Europe and a resurgence of Soviet expansionism.

By developing, but not necessarily producing, new generations of weapo n sys tems, the U.S. will remain able turn out advanced generations of weapons sys tems as conditions dictate. Example: the Pentagon decided this year to com plete the engineering development work, but not to begin production, of the FOG-M, a new qti-tank weapon. desigqed- primfly for, U.S. forces in Europe If the Soviet threat in Europe subsides, the weapon will not be deployed at least for several years; if the threat increases, production and deployment can proceed more quickly Protect funding for progr ams critical to morale and professionalism.

Decembers Panama invasion demonstrated clearly the advantages of a professional, well-trained, and highly motivated military force. The missions major military objectives were met quickly and the loss of American life due to poor planning or operational mistakes was proportionally lower than in the 1983 operations in Lebanon and Grenada. One of the major achievements of Americas decade-long military buildup has been the increased profes sionalism of its armed for c es.To preserve the forces quality, it may be neces sary to have a smaller force. Defense Secretary Cheney recognizes this in his proposal to demobilize two Army divisions this year. He explains that these cuts are preferable to maintaining large numbers o f divisions in which there is equipment that doesnt work, spare parts that are unavailable, inadequate fuel supplies, training, drug problems, and morale problems.22 High Readiness Levels. A key factor in fielding a professional and highly motivated force i s combat readiness the ability of military forces to be prepared for combat on short notice. Readiness requires adequate stocks of munitions and spare parts, sufficient training under mock combat conditions and so-called operating tempos, or on-the-job tr a ining time, which includes flying hours for pilots, steaming time for ship crews, and miles logged for tank crews. Bushs 1991 budget keeps readiness at high levels across the board. If readiness is cut, it should be done so selectively for those forces in the U.S geared toward European conflict. What should not be cut is readiness for for ces most likely to see combat on short notice: Army airborne and air-assault divisions, the Marines, and naval forces. The use of such forces in Decembers liberation of P anama demonstrate their importance to U.S. security.

Also critical to armed forces morale are such programs as family housing home improvement loan programs, medical and dental care, child care, and education. And obviously, pay levels, which already have fallen 11 percent be hind comparable civilian pay scales, must be kept up not only for morale, but to attract qualified personnel to the military, particularly engineers and pilots 22Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, News Briefing on the FY 1991 Depart m ent of Defense Budget January 29,1990, available DOD Public Affairs Office 11 I Protect strong power projection forces and maritime superiority The U.S. forces that should be maintained in strength are those most likely to be used in combat.These must inc lude the Navy, Marines, and Special Operations forces.

First among these is the Navy, which has played a central role in all but a dozen of the m re than 200 conflicts in which merice forces have seen ac tion since 19

45. U.S. military influence in critic al areas like the Mediter ranean, Western Pacific, and Persian Gulf, moreover, depends almost entire ly on the Navy. Here aircraft carrier battle groups are the mainstay, each field ing aircraft capable of attacking targets on land, defending the fleet ag a inst enemy aircraft, and defending against Soviet submarines. In addition to projecting power, these carriers ultimately have primary responsibility for protecting the sea lanes which assure American access not only to markets and to scarce resources such as oil, but to U.S. military bases overseas. The major threat to the Navys ability to control the seas comes from Soviet Akula, Siena, and other attack submarines, which the U.S.S.R. continues to produce at record rates quire the ability to dispatch troop s abroad quickly and decisively to protect friendly governments, combat terrorism, or maintain peace in unstable regions. The Marine Corps is Americas principal expeditionary force capable of fighting its way into hostile territory and sustaining itself in com bat. The Marines have unique capabilities to intervene globally. They station units on ships in the Mediterranean and the Pacific, and have transport ships to move their troops anywhere in the world. Their prepositioned forces, or floating bases of su p plies and equipment, are stationed near such potential trouble spots as the Persian Gulf. While the Marines were hurt by last years cancellation of the V-22 Osprey transport aircraft, which can take off from a ships deck like a helicopter and fly like an a irplane, Other Marine modern ization programs should continue. These include the LHD-1 helicopter car rier and transport ship, the LAV (for light armored vehicle) small armored personnel carrier, and the Landing Craft-Air Cushion, a hovercraft used to tak e Marines from ship to shore.

Special operations forces (SOF such as the Armys Special Forces and Navys SEALS, will continue to be essential to support Marine and Army operations, as they were in Panama where they secured such key areas as Rio Hato Airfiel d and Noriegas Commandancia headquarters at the outset of the invasion Special Operation Forces are trained to combat terrorism, res cue hostages, and seize bridges and other key military positions behind enemy 1ines.They also play a central role in count e r-insurgency, anti-ter q3 Unique Capabilities. Given its global interests, America will continue to re 23Capt.Thomas B. Grassey, US. Naval Institute Proceedingr, July 1989, p. 34 24See Robert Ropelewski, How Panama Worked, Armed Forces Journal Intema~onal , February 1990, p. 27 12 rorism, and anti-drug operations, situations in which U.S. forces are likely to become involved in the next decade IMPERATIVE #3: Seek savings where warranted by a changing threat When making cuts, the U.S. should balance its prep a ration to meet existing threats with the-need to.prepare to-defend-its interests in a rapidly changing world So far, spending could be cut without endangering U.S. interests, by Reducing the size of the Army The Bush budget calls for demobiling, or disban d ing, two of the Armys eighteen active or combat-ready divisions: the 9th Infantry Division based in Fort Lewis, W hin to and the 2nd Armored (tank) Division based in Fort Hood,Texas. Sawngs from this will be $1.2 billion in the 1991 budget and al most an a dditional 5 billion from 1992 through 1994 A division consists of between 10,OOO and 16,500 combat personnel and up to 20,000 support per sonnel like mechanics. Cheney is planning cuts of an additional three Army divisions and five Air ForceTactical Air W ings each consisting of about 72 attack and fighter aircraft such as the F-16 and over 2,000 personnel -in corn ing years if a C nventional Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement is signed this year in Vienna.

These moves are a good first step. Smaller forces in an era of declining budgets are acceptable if they are kept armed with modem weapons and maintained at high preparedness. Cutting a tank and motorized division based in the U.S as Cheney has recommended, is warranted given the reduc tions, albeit modest s o far, in Soviet military capabilities in Europe. Beyond this, Cheney should consider this year moving the equivalent of another Army Light Infantry Division into the reserves (this could be accomplished by taking brigades or battalions from different div i sions Light Infantry Divisions are smaller than so-called heavy divisions, numbering around 10,OOO men, and lacking such heavy equipment as tanks and armored person nel carriers. These Light Infantry Divisions largely duplicate existing Marine Corps capab ilities. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this could save about $300 million to $400 million in the first year, and more later.

Changed Premises. A CFE agreement and the anticipated withdrawal of most Soviet troops from Eastern Europe would de crease overall Soviet military capabilities and increase NATOs warning time before a Soviet at tack. This would change significantly the premises upon which Americas 2y gn 27 25Active divisions are manned at or near full strength.The U.S. now has eighteen active army divisions.The US. also has ten divisions in the reserves or national guard. These divisions are maintained by core personnel and filled out by reservists in the event they are called up for combat News Release, No. 29-90, U.S. Department of De f ense, M 1991 Dept. of Defense Budget Request 27News Briefing with Defense Secretary Richard Cheney, News Briefing on FY 1991 DOD Budget, January 24 1990 13 1 troop commitments to Europe have been based. For decades, the U.S. has had to have ten tank and a r mored divisions ready to be in place in Europe ten days after a Soviet mobilization. Under a CFE agreement, and particular- ly if the Soviet Union withdraws from Eastern Europe, these requirements 1 can be relaxed. The bulk of the U.S active divisions now earmarked for NATO rapid reinforcement could be transferred to the National Guard and Reserves. There they still will be available for timely mobilization given the longer warning that the West will have of an impending Soviet attack.

Reserve divisions co uld be maintained for between 50 percent and 80 per cent less than the annual cost of about 2.5 billion for a fully active heavy division.28 Some savings gained from such cuts would be offset by the need to bolster the capabilities of Reserve and National Guard forces since the U.S. will have to rely on them more heavily. For example more funding should be provided for training the Reserves and National Guard Reviewing new aircraft programs.

The Air Force now is proceeding with three new major aircraft programs.

These include the B-2 stealth strategic bomber, designed to deliver nuclear weapons, which will cost $70 billion for 132 planes; about $30 billion of this money already has been spent for research, development, and early produc tion.The Air Force also is working on the Advanced Tactical Fighter, another stealth plane that eventually will replace the Air Forces F-16 Fighting Fdcon, and will cost about $70 billion for 750 planes. The Ai r Forces (2-17 transport has a price tag of nearly $42 billion for 211 planes, of which about 11 billion has been spent. The Navy is nearing production of a new aircraft carrier-based stealth bomber, the Advanced Tactical Aircraft (ATA whose funding still is classified.The Navy also plans an aircraft carrier version of the Air Forces ATF.The Army is developing t& LHX helicopter, ex pected to cost about $33 billion for 2,096 aircraft.

If the military threat faced by the U.S. remains unchanged, the money to d eploy all these systems this decade should be spent. If the threat continues to subside, tremendous savings can be found by delaying or cutting back some of these new aircraft programs. Even though there is legitimate disagreement over the precise cost of each new aircraft, the sums are very high -particular ly when the money is being diverted from weapons systems more relevant to the changing nature of the threat.

In looking carefully for savings, the Bush Administration should consider delaying productio n of the C-17 transport plane but continuing to test the planes already in production so that the program can be started again if the BCongressional Budget Office figures and Warren W. Lenhart, The Mir of US. Active and Reserve Forces Congressional Resear c h Service, November 1983, adjusted for inflation 29Figures for aircraft programs from Selected Aqukition report (SAR Defense Department, November 1989, and through direct inquiry to the military services 14 situation warrants. This would save about 2.1 bi l lion of the 2.7 billion requested for the C 17 this year. The main reason that this aircraft program was in itiated in 1981 was that it would allow the Air Force to meet its requirements for rushing troops to Europe in a crisis. Pending the outcome of pol i tical develop ments in Europe, the require ments for transporting rapid reinforcements to Europe may be reduced If a CFE agreement is signed and the Soviet Union withdraws most or all of its for ces from Europe, the U.S. will be able to rely more heavily o n ships rather than cargo planes for ferrying troops and equip ment to Europe. Although the C-17 also is designed for other missions, such as landing on Third World combat airstrips near a battlefront, these mis sions alone do not justify the enormous cos t of the program given existing airlift capabilities If the U.S. cancels the C-17, it will have to face the question of modernizing airlift capabilities again later this decade. The C-17 could play a role then, or it might be less ex pensive to modernize t he existing fleet of C-141 Stadijlen and resume production of C-5 Galaxies. The Pentagon is studying this question Extraordinary Technology. The B-2 bomber also merits careful review.

There is no questioning the success of the B-2s initial test flights, th e planes extraordinary technology, or its impressive ability to penetrate Soviet airspace during wartime. What is at question is whether the $40 billion needed to complete the 70 billion program cost could not be spent more wisely on other important strat e gic weapons programs, including SDI (re quiring an estimated 55 billion to deploy the single-warhead mobile Midgetman ICBM (between $25 and $37 billion the rail-mobile MX ICBM 7 billion) and the Trident II missile 35 billion, of which $18 billion 15 remai n s to be spent> With the B-2 claiming so much of the Pentagons financial resources the Pentagon should consider proceeding with the B-2 pro gram only if this does not re quire cancelling another strategic program Scaling Back. B-2 options for the Pentagon i nclude slowing in itial production and purchasing a smaller fleet than now planned. Slowing early produc tion will buy very essential time with which to test and evaluate the B-2 fully and to assess U.S bomber requirements after a U.S.-Soviet START accord and in light of changes over the next few years in the Soviet military threat?l Meanwhile, Cheney should scale back the number of B-2s requested in this years budget to fewer than five As for the Air Force and Naval versions of the Advanced Tactical Fight e r, the Pentagon should proceed with research development, and initial testing of them, but consider delaying production and deployment in favor of upgrading such aircraft as the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F-18 Hornet, if the Soviet threat conti n ues to recede The Navys ATA should proceed on schedule because of the critical need to replace aging aircraft carrier attack planes later this decade 3Olbid 31 Cheney is expected to report to Congress this month with precise spending data on stretching ou t and cutting back the B-2 program 16 Considering cancelling and delaying programs geared toward conflict in Europe accurate anti-tank weapon FOG-M designed mainly to stop Soviet tanks in Europe.

It makes sense that weapons to be used primarily to fight Soviet forces in Europe, where the U.S. may soon be reducing its military role, be considered first for terminations and delay!

CancelIing nearly completed programs such as the M-1 and holding some new programs in abeyance does not cut into exis ing militar y capability If the U.S. does not reduce its role in Europe, then delayed programs can be restarted German Opposition. This cer tainly could be the case with the Follow-on-to-Lance (FOTL FOTL is a nuclear-armed short range missile proposed for 32Cheney br i efmg, op cit 17 on German soil is mounting and may be near-universal. For another, the NATO assumptions on which the need for FOTL has been based are that NATO conventional forces are inferior to the Warsaw Pact and that a clear front line exists between two Germanies. Both assumptions probably will not be valid for long.

Another candidate for cancellation is the ground-launched version of the Tacit -Rainbowanti-radiation drone, a weapon that attacks air defense sites by homing in on their radar emissions. A similar weapon, the Hw, already has been developed and fielded by Israels Air Force. A version of this drone tailored for U.S. forces is being developed jointly by Americas General Dynamics Corporation and Israel Aircraft Industries. Harpy could be pur chased at about 50 percent the cost of ground-launched Tacit Rainbow, which is budgeted for over $100 million in development costs this year Closing Bases.

The Bush 1991 Pentagon budget proposes to close 35 of Americas 871 military installations, includin g Fort Ord, California; Alameda Naval Air Sta tion, California; the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, and Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. Twelve overseas bases also will be closed, including Hellenikon Air Base in Greece and Kwang Ju Air Base in South Korea. S hutting these bases, along with those recommended last year by the bipartisan and inde pendent Commission on Base Realignments and Closures, will cost $3.4 bil lion over the next five years. At the same time ome $4.6 billion will be saved in operating cos t s, for a $1.2 billion net saving? As the military budget decreases and forces are cut, it will become increasingly difficult to justify maintaining marginal bases, as well as an inefficient and wasteful expenditure of scarce resources IMPERATIVE #4: Plan deeper cuts for the future.

Given the political upheaval in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and what they could mean for Americas role in the world, now is the time for the Pentagon to review and contemplate changes in U.S. strategy. It is un reasonab le, however, to expect this years budget to reflect much of this new thinking. This years budget must meet the threat on the ground today.

Despite the reasonable hopes and expectations about the future, so far the threat has not diminished much and in way s has increased to face a vastly different set of military requirements. If Soviet forces leave Eastern Europe, the U.S. should withdraw most of its land forces from the continent and become an offshore power, providing mainly naval, air, and reserve manp o wer in support of its European allies This picture may change dramatically. In just a few years, America is likely 33 OKeefe briefmg, op. cit 18 Because of a changed military environment, the U.S. may not need all of its bases in the Pacific; this surely was the meaning of Cheneys remarks on the future of Americas air and naval bases in the Philippines If the U.S. vacates some Pacific bases, then the U.S will depend more on long-range naval and air power in this critical region.

Defending Americas interests in this new environment will require a reevaluation of U.S. military missions and the development of new strategies for meeting them. Defense budgets in coming years will have to reflect this.

For this, Pentagon budget procedures will have to change. Fr om all reports this year the military services were given bottom-line budget figures and told to meet them by making their own cuts.They were given very little guidance regarding where the cuts should be made In coming years, the Secretary of Defense must provide creative and tough guidance to push the services to tailor spending to new missions and strategies based on new requirements. This means that Cheneys planning staff, under the direction of Undersecretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, will have to exe r cise more direct authority over the Pentagons budget process now dominated by the military services.The extent to which Cheneys plan ning directives are incorporated into the services budgets will depend more than anything on Cheneys willingness to see th a t his overall strategic vision is reflected in the plans and budgets of the military services CONCLUSION The crumbling of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet preoccupation with internal problems probably mean that the chances of war in Europe today are at a post-W o rld War I1 low. At the same time, Soviet military capabilities in Europe and elsewhere remain largely in place, despite promising rhetoric and developments. Continuing military instability in Eastern Europe and within the Soviet Union, moreover, make for an uncertain near-term future.

During this time, it makes sense for America to sustain a strong military ef fort as a hedge against a reversal of Soviet policy. Wholesale cuts in the defense budget are not justified.

Selective cuts are A careful selection process would identify some programs that must be spared cuts or expanded. These include: SDI; strategic nuclear forces; re search and development on weapons technology; programs critical to profes sionalism and mora l e such as training and competitive benefits; and forces most likely to see combat like the Navy, Marines, and Special Operations For ces Candidates for Cuts. Other programs can be identified as candidates for cuts. These include: Army divisions; weapon pr o grams geared mainly toward a major war in Europe, like the Follow-on-to-Lance missile; expensive new Air Force aircraft programs such as the C-17 transport plane and B-2 bomb er; and military bases 19 First-Order Questions. Looking beyond this years budge t , the Pentagon should be preparing a reassessment of first-order questions about U.S military requirements and strategy and incorporating these findings into the budget process. With the Warsaw Pact collapsing, a conventional forces agree ment on the hori z on, and Soviet forces perhaps on their way out of Europe, it is possible, if not likely, that in the future the U.S. will be able to defend and assert its global interests with a smaller and cheaper military force than it fields today ting, but careful bu d get planning based on a reassessment of U.S. military strategy in light of the fundamentally changing strategic environment Creating a force able to do so effectively will require not only budget cut Jay P. Kosminsky Deputy Director of Defense Policy Stud ies Heritage Foundation Policy Analyst Baker Spring contributed sections of this study. Research Assistants Dennis Kilcoyne and Ivan Lozowy also contributed 20


Jay P.

Contributor, The Foundry