Photo Credit: Senior Airman Julianne In that year of happy memory, 1972, George McGovern, the Democratic nominee, declared he would chop defense by fully one-third. A friendly congressman was persuaded to ask Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird to expatiate on what this might mean.
The Pentagon replied the Sixth Fleet might have to be pulled out of the Med, leaving Israel without U.S. protection against the fleet of Adm. Sergei Gorshkov, and provided the congressman a list of U.S. bases that would have to be shut down.
Radio ads were run in the towns closest to the bases on the Pentagon list, declaring they would be closed and all jobs terminated, should McGovern win.
Something akin to this is going on with the impending sequester. A cut of 7 percent, $46 billion, in Pentagon spending, says Army chief Ray Odierno, will mean a “hollowing” out of his force.
The Navy? The carrier Harry Truman will not be sailing to the Persian Gulf. The Abraham Lincoln will not be overhauled in Newport News. Thousands of jobs will be lost. Reporter Rowan Scarborough writes that the Air Force has produced “a map of the U.S. that shows state-by-state the millions of dollars lost to local economies,” should the guillotine fall.
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