WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is cutting its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf region from two carriers to one, the Defense Department said Wednesday, in a move that represents one of the most significant effects of budget cuts on the U.S. military presence overseas. The decision comes as Washington struggles to find a way to avoid sharp automatic spending cuts set to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs next month.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has approved keeping just one carrier in the Persian Gulf region. The U.S. has maintained two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf for most of the last two years.
Panetta has been leading a campaign to replace the automatic cuts he warns would “hollow out” the military, and the Pentagon has been providing greater details on the cuts it would have to make if Congress fails to both replace them and agree on a 2013 defense budget bill. The carrier decision is one of the most significant announcements made thus far.
But, naturally, as the rest of America and its military are cut to the bone via Mr Obama’s sequestration, let us take joy and pride in the fact that Joe Biden, our efficient and intellectual vice president, has received a pay hike.
President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.
According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he’ll now make $231,900 per year.
Also on the list for a pay bump are all of the Senators, House members, John Boehner, majority and minority leaders in both chambers and all the members of the Supreme Court. They — frankly — got “theirs.”
But, in consideration, perhaps it’s time to realize that the Middle East isn’t any kind of “hot spot” and that, in truth, its delicacy is only offered up by those who wish to exploit global politics over the national good.
Because the Middle East is the last place the United States could expect immediate and serious trouble, is it not?
For those interested, an historical list of our US aircraft carriers: