Now the Military Knows How Scientists Feel

Apparently, the Pentagon isn’t happy with the spectre of arbitrary and mandatory cuts due to the ‘failure’ of the Poliburo Supercommittee (boldface mine):

An 11 percent reduction is nonetheless a cut of $54 billion, which would have to be done in a single year — the real challenge in reducing Pentagon spending this way. “It’s the abruptness of the cuts, not the depth of the cuts, which makes it hard,” Mr. Harrison said….

Other analysts argued that the United States had such overwhelming military superiority globally that it could easily withstand the cuts, even to the point of eliminating the Joint Strike Fighter. “We have airplanes coming out of our ears,” said Gordon Adams, who oversaw military budgets in the Clinton White House. “We’re in a technological race with ourselves.” Nonetheless, he said, the automatic cuts make life difficult for Pentagon budget planners and are “a terrible way to manage defense.

Regardless of what one thinks of our military spending, setting an arbitrary cutting target (why $4 trillion? Why not $4.12528 trillion? I think it has to do with the Mad Biologist’s Rule of Base Ten Numbers) and then fixing priorities to met that target, as opposed to figuring out what we need and then cutting the rest, is stupid. All the more so, since we are not currency limited, and, with unemployment at nine percent, inflation isn’t a risk.

Welcome to science funding land, servicemen and -women…

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5 Responses to Now the Military Knows How Scientists Feel

  1. Kanne_do says:

    I have to say that I’m a bit miffed by your dismissiveness. Science, yes, is a vital part of our lives. National security, in my opinion, is essential. Soldiers and sailors put their lives at risk to protect our nation and our interests worldwide, which takes an extreme amount of planning, coordination, communication, etc. You have to be able to count on funds being available for this to happen.

    Perhaps if you were to risk your life for the good of humanity for your science then I would consider science cuts on par with defense cuts.

    Full disclosure, I am a PhD chemist with a military husband.

  2. leigh says:

    While defense is not a sacred cow, and there are plenty of places cuts can reasonably take place, it’s not nearly as simple of a comparison as you make it out to be. All I see here is more evidence of the massive gap of understanding between civilians and the military.

  3. Kevin Cantu says:

    The amount of money simply “lost” by the military in Iraq is, coincidentally, almost identical to the ENTIRE budget of the NSF: only six and a half billion dollars.

    If those heroic bomb tossing numb-sculls would get their act together, the Department of Defense would have plenty of cash left over.

  4. Pingback: Schadenfreude: When ‘Small-Government’ Conservatives Have to Face the Reality of Their Rhetoric | Mike the Mad Biologist

  5. Same reason God was going to smite us in 2,000. Deities prefer round numbers.

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