Major General Jerry R. Curry, US Army Ret., D. Min.
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
Capitol Hill lawmakers on opposite sides of the political aisle in Washington agree about very little these days, but there is something on which both sides do seem to agree. It is that more than $46 billion in automatic defense budget cuts will hit the Pentagon over the next seven months. This is called sequestration and if it takes effect will devastate military preparedness and the nation’s ability to execute combat operations.
Of course this presupposes that there really is a shortage of funding. But if President Obama carries through on one of his early campaign promises he will build a civilian duplicate of the Department of Defense and place it under the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security. So, on the one hand the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Senate Armed Service Committee say implementing sequestration will hollow out our armed forces.
On the other hand President Obama has yet to nullify his stated intention to build a civilian duplicate of the Department of Defense, one that is large and well-funded. Why can’t that money be used to pay a few of the bills of our military, thus avoiding some of the costs of sequestration?
Last year The Examiner reported that, “multiple agencies of the federal government have ordered and are stockpiling multimillions of rounds of ammunition have pressured the feds to offer an explanation. But the official explanation has only raised more questions.” In fact, this year orders for additional millions of rounds of ammunition have again been placed by DHS and other government departments…
At the same time J. Farah of the World Net Daily quoted Obama as saying, “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” What are these national security objectives that Obama has set for his CNSF? Certainly he can’t be serious when he says that he wants a civilian duplicate of the DOD? Did he misspeak? His four year track record as president suggests he was deadly serious when he said it and if Congress objects, he will issue some kind of an executive order and work around the intent of Congress.
If the government has really run out of money to support routine military operations, which sequestration says it has, where is the money coming from to create this new civilian department of defense and how much money is involved? Can we take the funds the CNSF is currently spending and use it to pay some of the Pentagon’s bills? Or is there something else going on here?
The next time the Senate Armed Services Committee grapples with the question of sequestration, perhaps it would also be appropriate to grapple with questions concerning Obama’s CNSF such as how large a force is it? How and with what is it equipped? What is its budget? If we can’t currently afford to refuel and replenish a U.S. Navy ship as has been reported, how can we afford to build and equip a new civilian navy, if that, in fact, is what Obama intends to do?
Does it make any sense that at the same time we are gutting — sequestering — our armed forces we are simultaneously building up a civilian version of the Department of Defense? Is there a need for Congress to ask questions such as, “Why haven’t the military functions of the Department of Homeland Security been terminated, disbanded, and, along with their budget, assigned to the Department of Defense? Or, why hasn’t DOD been terminated and its functions assigned to DHS or to Obama’s CNSF?”
Democrat Congressmen and Senators can’t continue to rely on their Republican counterparts to do all their dirty work and heavy lifting. The American people do not just hold President Obama responsible for the actions of the Administration. There will be a Congressional election in 2014 and, like as happened in 2010, there may be a full scale readjustment of those who occupy the chairs on Capitol Hill.
Perhaps we need a sequestration of people as opposed to just a sequestration of funds.
General Jerry Ralph Curry (D.Min.) is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger. He enlisted in the Army as a Private and retired a Major General. He is the author of: From Private to General: An African American Soldier Works His Way Up Through The Ranks; The Dream Continues: Thoughts From An American Journey; 2007 Bronze Award for “Multicultural Non-Fiction From Independent Publisher (IPPY Awards).For nearly forty years he and his wife Charlene have served this country both in the military and while he was a Presidential political appointee.