Defense cuts must not risk nation’s military advantage

It’s easy to see why. After 10 years of fighting, our military needs to be restocked and our veterans must be cared for. 

As we witnessed the air campaign against Moammar Gadhafi and the drone strikes against al Qaeda, the value of our technological supremacy is plain to see. But research and modernization have already been cut to just 1.3 percent of gross domestic product, and more than $300 billion in upgraded programs were canceled under former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Our most advanced fighters have been hit especially hard, with the F-35 fighter jet buy recently cut back. Meanwhile, the Chinese have introduced a new stealth jet and Russia is in a massive build-up, adding 600 fighters and 1,000 helicopters to its fleet.

More defense cuts also mean more lost jobs — more than a million in 2013 alone, according to recent reports.

Democrats and Republicans agree: Cut the budget, but preserve our aerospace and defense supremacy.

Troutville, Va.

Businessperson needed to solve nation’s woes

From Gareth Neumann

Re: “GOP looking for most-capable-in-chief” (A.B. Stoddard, Oct. 18)

I am too, and none of the current candidates impress, especially after the recent Republican debate — lots of silliness. They all carry baggage, and none of the candidates are true conservatives, which is what the country needs now more than ever to create the environment that will allow jobs to expand, and eliminate the debt that the next generation of young people must deal with. If we don’t deal with the debt now, every day brings us closer to disaster.

Only a businessperson can solve the mess that we are in now! And 9-9-9 is not the answer.

Camarillo, Calif.

How US spends money a question of morality

From Glenn Welker

I believe that a budget is a moral document that reflects our priorities as a nation.

I believe that we can make choices between providing $47 billion in energy grants to help low-income families afford heat or giving away $44 billion in subsidies for oil-and-gas companies.

I believe militarism is harming our communities, and that the $445 billion spent on the war in Afghanistan would have been better spent on education, clean energy, jobs programs, feeding the hungry and other ways to build peace in our country and around the world.

The ever-widening gap between the very top 1 percent — who control more wealth than the bottom 99 percent — and the rest of us is a recipe for disastrous social instability and unrest.

Silver Spring, Md.