FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Alicia Godsberg
New Defense Strategy: Not Sounding That New
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (January 5, 2012) — Today the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outlined a new strategy for the Department of Defense. This new direction focused on reorienting the U.S. military toward the Asia-Pacific region and decreasing the number of active duty service members. President Obama proudly reminded the crowd that the Pentagon’s budget will continue to grow, even if it does so at a slower rate, and will remain higher than at the end of President Bush’s last term. Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey stated that the U.S. will retain the ability to fight more than one war at a time, and the U.S. will retain a safe, secure, and reliable nuclear deterrent. This broadly outlined “new” strategy does not sound all that different than the one we have now, which is contributing to our country’s economic decline by maintaining expensive and useless nuclear weapons and projecting U.S. power needlessly around the world.
Nuclear weapons were only hinted at in the press conference, with President Obama stating:
We’ll continue to get rid of outdated Cold War-era systems so that we can invest in the capabilities we need for the future…
The Pentagon’s report on this new strategy was also released today, stating:
It is possible that our deterrence goals can be achieved with a smaller nuclear force, which would reduce the number of nuclear weapons in our inventory as well as their role in U.S. national security strategy.
The U.S. has a stockpile of 8,500 nuclear weapons. Approximately $700 billion of tax payer money will be spent on nuclear weapons programs in the next decade. Billions can be saved by:
- Cutting the Navy’s procurement of new nuclear-capable submarines from 12 to 8. Savings = $27 billion over 10 years and $120 billion over the life of the program.
- Delaying work on a new long-range nuclear-capable bomber. Savings = at least $18 billion over the next decade.
- Cancelling the Mixed Oxide Fuel Plant. Savings = $4 billion.
- Cancelling the construction of a new plutonium pit/nuclear weapon core factory (CMRR-NF). Savings = at least $3 – $5 billion.
Additional savings can come from eliminating the approximately 1,000 U.S. military bases overseas, starting with the European bases left over from the Cold War that ended over 20 years ago. Closing 300 bases alone would save at least $12 billion.
Specific budget cuts will be outlined in the weeks to come, leading up to the new budget that will be released in February. Peace Action New York State will continue to work to cut unnecessary nuclear weapons programs and close overseas bases, and redirect that money to help our communities and fund human needs.
About Peace Action New York State
PANYS is dedicated to promoting the non-violent resolution of conflict, the abolition of nuclear weapons, and changing federal spending priorities away from the military and toward human needs. We believe that war is not the suitable response to conflict, that every person has the right to live without the threat of nuclear weapons, and that America has the resources and responsibility to both protect and provide for its citizens. Peace Action New York State is part of the national organization Peace Action, which is the largest grassroots peace organization in the country. Peace Action recognizes that real change comes from the bottom up and is committed to educating and organizing at the grassroots level in over 30 states across the country.