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Will Obama’s Defense Cuts Lead to a Military Draft?

Forces will be stripped, recruitment will be difficult, and gutting defense "will threaten the foundations of the all-volunteer force" as crises abound.

by
Bridget Johnson

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February 28, 2013 - 6:50 pm
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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) today echoed the concerns of those who fear President Obama has shown a willingness to break the military through repeated cuts and a low prioritization in saving operational and maintenance funds over pet domestic programs.

“The cuts he continues to insist on, while below the level of sequestration, are still severe enough to hollow out our force. This approach forces me to conclude that the president, for all his stump speeches and props, wants the sequester to happen,” McKeon wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “The president is forcing America to indulge him in this dangerous experiment with national security.”

That experiment, as military leaders have told committee after committee in hearings leading up to Friday’s sequestration, would scar military readiness to a point where this superpower may not be able to bounce back.

Training will be skipped. Flight hours will be cut. Even Special Forces are not immune from the hit.

Obama has ordered military pay to be excluded from the cuts, even as roughly 750,000 civilian employees — political appointees and foreign nationals excluded — face furloughs that amount to a 20 percent pay cut. That cuts into the support staff for military operations.

And a recurring theme under the surface of the daunting figures thrown out by the chiefs of staff lately is fear for the very future of America’s all-volunteer military force.

If the military continues to be gutted under Obama, fewer men and women are expected to walk through the doors of recruiting offices. If there aren’t enough men and women in uniform come the next conflict, will this administration or the next — which will be left to mop up the damage at the Pentagon — be forced to institute the draft?

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this month, Marine Corps Commandant James Amos warned that sequestration “invalidates the careful planning of the services to manage a predictable resource decline, replacing it instead with a dramatic resourcing cliff that guarantees inefficiency, waste in its accommodation.”

“The effects of sequestration, over the long term, will threaten the foundations of the all-volunteer force, putting the nation’s security on a vector that is potentially ruinous,” Amos said. “It dramatically shapes perceptions of our government, as both an employer and as a customer, reducing confidence throughout institutions.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno predicted cuts “will impact our units’ basic warfighting skills and induce shortfalls across critical specialties, including aviation, intelligence, engineering, and even our ability to recruit soldiers into our Army.”

The Pentagon was hit by $487 billion in cuts and a continuing resolution that tied its hands in directing funding to needed operations before the $500 billion sequestration tab was added on.

“We must be mindful of the corrosive effect of this uncertainty on the morale of our people and be vigilant regarding the potential effects of sequestration on the propensity of our force to stay with us and of new recruits to join,” said Adm. Mark Ferguson, vice chief of Naval Operations.

Leaders reiterated these warnings to the House Armed Services panel the next day.

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All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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The Military is already throwing people out the door, based on last years budget cuts and no one complained. The claims of catastrophy are overblown. 80 billion in REAL CUTS were asorbed in the early 1990s and continued throughout the 90s and the services dealt with it quite handily. The "need' for a draft is ludicrous and is just another scare tactic from the Ruling Class.

The Military has been one of the FEW Federal entities that, when given a budget cut, salutes and executes it, rather than become rent-seeking whiners, like the Federal Employees Unions.

Lets not turn the Military into yet another whiney tax money seeking interest group, OK?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, well today's private e1 makes 35000 dollars a year. That's a far cry from 750 dollars a year for a private e1 in 1968. The growth in current military pay and benefits are not sustainable at current tax rates. Frankly, the privates are now so expensive it's no longer cost effective to get 58000 killed in a ten year war, much less one battle on the order of WW1. So what if you have a ten to one kill ratio? If the enemy has no problem with a half a million casualties at a dime a dozen while Americans wimp out at 6000 after a trillion dollars spent what's the point? We couldn't even respond to Benghazi in time with all the available force multipliers and intelligence at hand, and that was before the sequester. Of course, once all the political exceptions (exemptions and deferments) to the "universal draft" are allowed for (can't draft violent domestic female abusers and homophobes and graduate school missionaries to France) there probably wouldn't be many souls left to draft. But, on a lighter note, for the few non-pot heads with GEDs left to draft that can pass a urine test at least they wouldn't have to shoot themselves in the foot to get out of the front lines in the next "unjust war": If you're Private Benjamin just goose Private Suzie and that should do it. Besides, I've always been puzzled over why it's so bad to be "Islamophobic" but it's okay to draft only select eighteen year old males to go and shoot them?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't know where you're getting your numbers. Going to this pay scale [http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp], an E-1 has a base pay of $1515.20 a month, or $18,194.40 a year. That E-1 may have additional allowances such as hazardous duty pay but not everyone gets it. In fairly rare circumstances, he/she might get separate rations allowance where they get money to buy their food instead of being provided food. Housing allowances for E-1s are not impossible but that was very uncommon in my military experience or that of anyone I know. Most E-1s are still in training. They live on base in provided quarters and eat in the dining facilities.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This veteran and retiree says yes to sequester and the draft. I never believe the doomsday cry of the pentagon. The military of my day did not expire because of the peace dividends at the end of the Cold War. Yes it suffered , but the changes we had to make to adjust despite all the hand wringing made us face needed changes that made us better prepared for future conflicts in Iraq. A draft force is bound to have a better ration of normal/abomination ratio. The problem is the turn over in a draft based force. it takes much time to train in critical technical fields , to the extent that the military becomes a training ground for the civilian work force, trained and out, so the conscripts would of practicality be 'cannon fodder' or front line soldiers.

Back to sequestration, it is Obama's problem , he created it, it is a start, do it! Maybe in the long run it will force traitors in the Senate to pass a budget and address necessary spending cuts where they most need to be! They may even over ride this president and start some programs that actually create jobs instead of stifling them. We will need a place/jobs for all those soldiers returning from combat. The only reason Obama has not brought the military home to date and stood most of them down is his fear of what it is going to do to his jobs numbers. Now in his last four years of his perpetual campaign he need not worry much about that because those who put him in office (discounting the obvious fraud) do not care about increased welfare, food stamps, and unemployment!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Islandweller: "The USA has a SPENDING problem not a SEQUESTRATION problem not a REVENUE problem."

Are you sure? Some Big Wig said: We don't have a spending problem, we have a pay-for problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"24,000 enlisted and 7,600 officers". Sounds like those 20% of young black males knew what was coming with the one's reelection. For some, no job or occupation, for some others no way to deal with a wayward young adult, and for the rest a force multiplier of Dorners for the other gang.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Ummm... so they're talking about instituting a draft to get people they say they can't afford to pay after gutting the service of people they say will have to go because they can't afford them? Is that where the volk in charge are going with it or am I (hOpefully) mistaken?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The USA has a SPENDING problem not a SEQUESTRATION problem not a REVENUE problem. It has a USURPER and a REGIME in charge which SPENDS over $1 TRILLION MORE every year than it takes in. No other Administration in the history of the USA has been this much of a SPENDTHRIFT. It has INCREASED Federal spending by 30% since coming in to power.
So anyone who cannot see the problem is SPENDING must be a MORON.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Under Obama and the current Congress the federal debt grows over $68,000 PER SECOND! That is over $4 million PER MINUTE eating into the future of our next generations, we sure as hell will not pay it! Our children's future is for slavery and/or chaotic destitution the likes of which have never been known if something is not done and fast! Something to remember us by?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“In the case of the Army, we will come to a point where unfortunately we’ll have to use some involuntary separation measures,” Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg testified. “In the case of the Army, it will probably be about 24,000 enlisted and about 7,000 officers.”

Another Obama toady spreading his masters malarkey to scare the sheeple.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Keep in mind that these same generals who are acting like the sky is falling are the same ones who keep telling us that we are winning in Afcrapistan and that America's survival depends on winning in Afcrapistan.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Pentagon was hit by $487 billion in cuts"

This is a blatant lie unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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