Kristol: Budget Cuts ‘Would Decimate Our Military,’ But ‘The Savings Are Tiny’

It was fairly easy to predict that the right wing would get hysterical after President Obama and his top defense advisers announced a new military strategy that would rely on a “leaner” force. While some like Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) have focused on the “myth” that the new strategy eliminates the military’s ability to fight two major wars at once (the New York Times notes the “two-wars” strategy “was always an artificial construct intended mainly to ensure the Pentagon got all it wanted”), others have advanced claims about the strategy that are “complete bullshit.”

Bill Kristol joined in last night on Fox News and offered his (albeit contradictory) two cents attack line. One the one hand, Kristol said that the cutbacks in military spending “would decimate our military” and then just moments later, he downplayed the cuts as a deficit reduction measure, saying they are “tiny”:

KRISTOL: This would decimate our military. It would weaken the United States of America. Let’s not kid ourselves. There is no magic. You have don’t cut the ground forces he wants to cut, cut our capacities around the world, tell allies, whoa, you know, you thought in the past ground troops could land if there was a problem. I’m not so sure anymore. […]

It’s unbelievably irresponsible. The savings are tiny when it comes to the actual budget deficit. The highest number is $40 billion a year when he is running $1.5 trillion deficit when he wasted $800 billion on the stimulus, none of which went to the military. Doesn’t that tell you everything.

Watch the clip:

Max Boot says it’s “impossible” (impossible!) to cut $1 trillion from military spending over the next decade, although he doesn’t exactly say why (it’s actually very possible).


But Kristol’s back and forth highlights the fact that, as this blog has noted numerous times before, those opposed to eliminating wasteful military spending rely primarily on fear mongering, not facts. Taking a line from Kristol, “Doesn’t that tell you everything?”