- No, the Pentagon Is NOT Cutting Army Budget to 1930s Levels: Media’s Latest Big Lie Debunked!
by Steven Rosenfeld RINF Alternative News
On Monday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled his 2015 Pentagon budget in a detailed speech where he proposed spending $496 billion—about $45 billion less than the White House, retiring a tank-shooting aircraft and spy plane, cutting the army’s size from 520,000 to 450,000 troops, and trimming subsidies for military housing and health care.
The rationale was that after America’s longest overseas war, 11 years in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military had to balance downsizing and modernizing. The coverage that ensued was anything but rational. “Pentagon set to Slash Military to Pre-World War II Levels,” blared NBCNews.com. The New York Times, Reuters, NewsMax.com, FoxNews, Time, CNN all had headlines that the Army reduction was to “pre-World War II levels.”
Following the media’s lead, Republican congressmen and ex-generals on prime time TV, predictably vented. The Army was being “cut to the bone,” said Retired Gen. Jack Keane on Fox. “This is not the time for us to begin to retreat,” said Rep. Michael Turner, R-OH. “It’s all being sacrificed… on the altar of entitlements,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-TX.
Even experts that sought to defend a trend that has follow every big American war recited the “pre-World War II levels” trope. “The news that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will propose to cut the U.S. Army to pre-World War II levels is sure to generate much controversy,” wrote the WaPo’s David Edelstein, “despite the fact that the United States spends nearly five times as much on defense as the next country on the list.”
The problem is that the “pre-WW II” claim is false. It’s not just sloppy headline writing. It’s not true—and not by a wide margin. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf was among the first writers to notice.
“So… will our national defense be roughly as strong as it was right before we fought Germany and Japan, as a casual reader might assume? Not even close,” he wrote. “What about the Army taken in isolation? No, that isn’t accurate either. If these accounts were trying to maximize confusion or alarm at proposed cuts, then mission accomplished.”
To fully grasp how absurd and filled with historical amnesia this “pre-World War II” claim is, just look at how the United States Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) characterized the challenge facing General George C. Marshall in 1939—before Germany invaded its first country and then-President Fraklin D. Roosevelt pretended that the U.S. was neutral while sending old Army planes to England.
“The U.S. Army in 1939 ranked 17th in the world in size, consisting of slightly more than 200,000 Regular Army soldiers and slightly less than 200,000 National Guardsmen—all organized in woefully understrength and undertrained formations,” a SSI paper by Col. John T. Nelson said. “The Army possessed ony 329 crude light tanks and only a handful of truly modern combat aircraft with a total inventory of just over 1,800 planes.”
It’s beyond an error in characterization to suggest that Hagel’s proposed Pentagon cuts will leave the Army in position that is weaker or even comparable to the late 1930s. It’s ludicrous. Looking beyond the troop totals, the training and the weaponry is night and day. The Air Force wasn’t created until after World War II. Still, the Army today has more than 4,000 active duty helicopters and the Air Force has thousands of planes.
Moreover, there are so many other differences between America’s military might before WW2 and today, starting with more than 5,000 nuclear weapons, more than 7,000 drones, nearly a dozen aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and on and on.
- Daniel 7:23 (New King James Version)
23 “Thus he said:
‘The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
Daniel 11:36-39 (New King James Version)
36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God[a] of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
Discretionary spending in the FY 2013 budget was slashed to $1.264 trillion from $1.319 trillion budgeted in FY 2012. America is a WAR economy!