This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Two F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing aircraft ferry from Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on May 22, 2013.
That's half a billion dollars in military hardware, literally. Cut THAT before you cut troop pay and benefits.
The good news:
[Defense Secretary Chuck] Hagel is also expected to propose cutting the size of the Army from 490,000 active-duty members to between 440,000 and 450,000, down from a post 9/11 peak of 570,000.
Conservatives are acting like it's the death of the military, which of course it isn't. But there are bigger problems with what has been leaked thus far, and it has nothing to do with cutting the size of the Army (other than it could be cut even deeper).

The problem with Hagel's apparent proposal is this:

The recommendations would limit [military] pay raises across the board to 1 percent, and they would freeze pay entirely for generals and admirals for one year.

In addition to reduced housing allowances, the recommendations would slash the subsidies for commissaries that provide groceries to veterans, service members, and their families at reduced cost.

Well, so much for cutting the Pentagon budget. Cutting troop pay is as wrong and immoral as doing so for other government workers, and likely even more given the inherent dangers of the job (even in peacetime). Cutting benefits for veterans—those who actually served honorably in combat or dedicated their lives serving their nation—is even more so.

More on these cuts below the fold.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

So not only is proposing benefits and pay cuts wrong on policy, it's wrong on the politics. You'd have to be a suicidal moron to vote for any such cuts, it doesn't matter what district or state you represent. By including such cuts in the proposal, Hagel has guaranteed that the cuts—already controversial to begin with—are dead on arrival.

If the Pentagon needs to cut, and if personnel costs are too high, then further shrink the size of the standing military. Cut wasteful weapons programs designed for wars that no longer exist, against non-existent foes, like the F-35 or the nation's 11 aircraft carriers. Drones are cheap, and they're the future of warfare in any case (for better or for worse). Close unnecessary bases. SLASH THE HELL out of the Pentagon's civilian workforce, which now stands at 760,000. That's not a typo. And it doesn't even include Pentagon contractors.

In fact, those civilians are the lowest-hanging fruit for Pentagon cuts. The troops? America loves them. The high-cost weapons systems? The military-industrial complex (and the elected officials they've bought) love them. Military bases? Local communities cling to them fiercely. The same Republicans who claim that government never created a job will vote to keep those bases open to protect local jobs. Aircraft carriers? They endure for little reason whatsoever.

But civilian employees and contractors? They have no natural constituency. So cut the size of the active duty armed forces, cut the size of the civilian workforce, and definitely try to close bases and shut unnecessary weapons systems down.

But the last thing you do if you are serious about cutting the defense budget is force our troops to bear the burden of those cuts. It's obnoxious, wrong-headed, idiotic, and a political dead-ender guaranteed to keep the Pentagon budget as bloated as ever.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to kos on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.