William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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AND IT BEGINS – AT 8:28 A.M. ET:  You may be sure that, as the Obama defense cuts start to kick in, the people who'll pay the immediate price will be those in uniform.  They're always asked to do more, with less.  After all, they're not an Obama constituency.  From the Washington Times:

Sailors and Marines serving on aircraft carriers can expect long deployments for the next few years because of ongoing crises in the Middle East and a shrinking number of carriers available for duty.

The venerable USS Enterprise, commissioned in 1961 as the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was deactivated last month, and the USS Abraham Lincoln is undergoing a four-year overhaul to increase its life span.

That has reduced the U.S. fleet of carriers from 11 to nine, as the Navy struggles to maintain a two-carrier presence in the Middle East as required by the Obama administration since 2010.

“We need 11 carriers to do the job. That’s been pretty clearly written, and that’s underwritten in our defense strategic guidance,” Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, said recently.

Carrier deployments have lengthened gradually over the past decade, from six months to as long as nine months.

Adm. Greenert said it will be at least two or three years before carriers return to six-month deployments, as the Navy strains to keep operational its flattop fleet and the battle groups of combat and supply vessels that support their missions.

For example, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower had been scheduled to return to the U.S. from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East early this year and be relieved by the USS Nimitz.

But in late November, the Navy announced that repairs on the Nimitz would not be completed until this summer. So the Eisenhower returned in late December and will deploy again to the Middle East in February — a two-month turnaround.

COMMENT:  Incredibly, we only have one aircraft carrier left in the Mideast.  And with Cuttin' Chuck coming in at Defense, we've only begun to see what's on the chopping block. 

Of course, the Obama crowd will tell you that we won't need all this defense stuff because the Obama vision is for the United States to have less involvement in overseas crises.  Well, as the guy on "Saturday Night Live" used to say, isn't that special.  Did these strategic geniuses ever consider the possibility that our enemies may not go along with Obama's "vision," and may challenge us?  No, I guess not. 

Well, this is what the country voted for.  Our young people will pay the price.  The "strategists" will write books and appear on CNN.

January 10, 2013