"President Trump has signed into law big time funding to fix this travesty. Let's just hope it is not too late to save more of our brave heroes."
What I find amazing is the unintended consequences of most all decisions. The Budget Control Act of 2011. Remember that pile of excrement? That was the result of the United States Debt Ceiling Crisis of 2011. This was a "stand off" by the newly formed Republican House, and their arch enemy - Barack Obama.
The Republicans wanted a reduction in spending, thereby reducing the deficit, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling (again). Both sides agreed to negotiate. Also, this negotiation was so important, so vital to the nation's interest. that a "poison pill" was going to be the reward for failure. The "poison pill was going to be so acerbic, so bitter, an agreement was for sure going to be made. It wasn't.
Thus the Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed into law, poison pill and all. The poison pill was the sequester - starting on January 1, 2013. The sequester were automatic spending cuts. Starting in 2013, and stretching out to 2021. They were to be $85B annually, evenly split between defense and non-defense spending. For the military, already suffering under a very tight budget, these cuts were catastrophic to say the least.
The cuts hit the DOD's O+M budget the hardest. O+M is Operations and Maintenance. That not only covers the maintenance of the equipment, but also the training to use it. A decision was made to have most of the cuts hit domestic equipment and training, and the least cuts being in the forward operating theater.
As far as President Obama was concerned, this all looked good on paper. He was going to teach the military and those recalcitrant Republicans a lesson. But under the surface was brewing a toxic cauldron. More and more platforms needed to be cannibalized to be barely able to operate. Some planes could hardly get airborne. Training hours were cut significantly, so it was just a matter of time before something ugly happened.
This week we had an extremely reliable C-130 from Puerto Rico fall out of the sky for what seems no reason at all. Nine members of the Puerto Rico National Guard perished. According to the Military Times, from 2013 to 2018 (the years of the sequester), 133 of our service men and women have perished in air accidents. That does not include the 9 from Puerto Rico yesterday. In anyone's book - this is totally unacceptable!
Some might think it is too harsh to put this on Obama. First off, it is his John Henry on the bill (which became law) which authorized this pile of crap. Plus (and I remember this clearly), he had very little time for the military. Cutting their budget down was just fine with him, thank you not!
President Trump has signed into law big time funding to fix this travesty. Let's just hope it is not too late to save more of our brave heroes.