Guns vs. Guns, Not Butter
Politicians should put our troops and our security before Cold War pork projects.
Connect: Our Pentagon budget should reflect sound national security strategy and modern threats. The world has changed, and so have the tools we need.
Define: Defense spending nearly doubled this last decade. With the end of the Iraq War and Afghanistan winding down, it's in our strategic interests to build a leaner, more agile force to combat 21st century threats.
Contrast: Republicans in Congress plan to fund Cold War programs that the Pentagon doesn't want, ignore their own spending limits, and take from what our troops need -- just to bring pork home to their campaign donors.
Explain: Our national security strategy should reflect modern threats, not outdated pork projects favored by political donors. We need a fighting force designed to combat terrorists, not Soviet armies.
Lead: Smart defense spending cuts keep us focused on today's threats and free up money to strengthen our nation's economic might, so we can put Americans back to work and pay down our debt. That's real security.
Words to use: Defense spending cuts; Pentagon budget cuts; 21st century threats
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "We can't let these devastating defense cuts go through."
- After threatening default to force the debt deal into place, Republicans in Congress are now trying to renege on their word and ignore their own spending limits so they can bring pork home to their campaign donors.
- Defense spending helped create our deficit problem and needs to be a part of the solution. The question isn't whether to cut defense -- it's what kinds of defense cuts we should make.
- Here's what we should cut: we can keep obsolete nukes built for the last century or we can give our troops the equipment and training they need to fight 21st century threats.
- It's in our strategic interests to build a leaner, more agile force designed to combat modern threats. The world has changed, and so have the tools of American strength.
ATTACK: "Defense cuts mean we're ceding our global superpower status."
- America has the world's biggest economy and the most advanced and powerful military. No other country -- including China -- comes close. Reining in the Pentagon budget won't change that.
- Look, our defense budget is six times bigger than China's and our defense spending is bigger than the next 17 countries' budgets combined.
- America's greatness and power around the world comes from our economic strength, not just our military.
ATTACK: "We're less safe now because Barack Obama is President."
- President Obama is handling our national security just fine, thanks. Americans don't need advice from the same people who sent us to Iraq instead of keeping their eyes on the ball.
- President Obama is focusing on 21st century threats and rebuilding our nation's economic might, doing what others could not to keep America secure. Look no further than the fact that bin Laden is gone and Al Qaeda is on the run today.
- Of course, we must remain vigilant against terrorism and invest in the strategic tools and capabilities that our military, intelligence professionals, law enforcement, diplomats, and first responders need to do their jobs. That's what President Obama is doing.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- The U.S. defense budget is six times that of China's and equal to that of more than the next 17 highest spending countries combined.
- If the "trigger" spending reductions under the August debt deal go through starting in 2013, the Pentagon budget would return to 2007 levels -- a time when we were paying for two major wars.
- Republicans in Congress are now trying to renege on the Budget Control Act they had forced into place, increasing defense spending above the agreed-upon levels in the debt deal.
- Military and defense spending played a significant role in increasing the national debt -- over the last decade, the defense budget nearly doubled.
- The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to this soaring increase in defense spending and to record deficits. Gen. Colin Powell, Joint Chiefs Admiral Michael Mullen, and even a number of conservative politicians say the Pentagon budget should be a part of fixing our deficit.
- America is safer under President Obama, who has shown across-the-board national security strength with achievements that include ending the war in Iraq, killing most top Al Qaeda leaders, forcing Iran to the negotiating table, and winding down Afghanistan.
- The bin Laden raid is just part of the President's successful efforts to reorient the fight against terrorism to focus specifically on the key threat we face -- defeating Al Qaeda and weakening terrorists around the globe.
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Posted in - Budget - Foreign Policy - Economy - National Security