Tags: Pentagon | budget | cuts | Coast | Guard

Pentagon Budget Cuts Could Ground Coast Guard

Monday, 22 Aug 2011 04:24 AM

By Amy Woods

Pentagon budget cuts not only would diminish the country’s military might but also could have a “disastrous impact” on the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), according to a blog on The Heritage Foundation’s website.
If the Coast Guard succumbs to pressure to hold off replacing its fleet of cutters, protection of U.S. waters will be compromised, the blog said.

“Cutting this force — in conjunction with the reductions in the Navy — will mean the U.S. will lose the capacity to ensure freedom of the seas and even the means to fully protect the sovereignty of U.S. waters,” wrote national security expert James Carafano.

Coast Guard Vice Admiral Robert Parker said in a recent interview that investing in the new cutters, which will have increased capacity to conduct missions and provide support to the Navy, is cost-effective.

An estimated $350 billion could be slashed from the defense budget during the next 10 years if the congressional supercommittee cannot agree to trim $1.5 trillion from the national debt by Thanksgiving.

“For the USCG to play a lead role in shaping a maritime security regime, it needs a significant bolstering of its resources and capabilities,” Parker said.

“The USCG can not field a third-world Navy to deal with 21st-century requirements.”

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