The US Coast Guard is not only our primary resources for seaborne search and rescue, they’re also a key to the defense of our ports from terrorist attack.
So why is the Obama Administration planning to gut the Coast Guard?
Liberals are forever going on about “first responders.” Well, the Coast Guard should certainly be considered first among the first responders. Yet, the Coast Guard has come on hard times. The Post recently reported that of 12 major cutters assigned to Haitian relief earlier this year, ten of them broke down. Three were forced to limp back into port.
The Obama administration plans to cut 1,100 active duty personnel from the Coast Guard, the smallest of our military services. Funds for port security—our first line of defense—will be cut by $100 million.
Even Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) calls the cuts in the Coast Guard’s budget “penny-wise and pound foolish.”
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) is the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Because of the administration’s cuts to the Coast Guard budget, their cutters will not be able to keep pace with the Navy in important combined missions. The average age of a Navy warship is 14 years, while that of a Coast Guard vessel is 41 years. New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans will now be less secure, Rogers charged.
The incoming Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Robert Papp, has said he would have to consider cutting homeland security training and operations. This is tantamount to announcing to the terrorists “the coast is clear.”
The Administration is willing to sink trillions into a health care “reform” that a majority of the nation does not want, yet a crucial component of our defense against Islamic jihadists, who have already shown themselves quite willing to kill thousands, is left begging. The single most important duty of the federal government is short-changed, so our leaders can pursue Hope and Change. Even that old fool Robert Byrd sees the folly in this.
And the Obama administration could well get a lot of Americans killed because of it.