According to an in depth report from the Heritage Foundation, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's proposals will greatly weaken the nation's military capabilities.

According to the Foundation,  defense cutback proposals will 'lessen the overall readiness of the force.'   From cutting the Army and Marine Corps by tens of thousands, to reducing the number of Air Force Fighter and Tactical squadrons; to retiring older Navy ships while slowing the process of replacing them,  the military will find itself in a position similar to right after the Vietnam War.  At that time, significant cuts were made in the US military, which resulted in reduced combat readiness.  The Foundation says a smaller 'hollow force' is futher weakened because fewer troops are being asked to perform more duties because of higher operation tempos and increased cycles overseas.  This drawdown  also results in reduced technology which lessens our ability to win on the battlefield with fewer casualties. 

  The Foundation also points to plans to reduce or scale back military compensation, or pay,  as Panetta said in fiscal year 2015, military pay will be limited.  Military insurance for service people and families will also be subject to higher co-pays, increased fees and higher deductibles.  This not only puts pressure on military famlies, but when combined with the other stated reductions and factors, will make it harder to retain quality servicemen and women, but harder to recruit for the future.    If a young man or woman faces significant liabilities from joining the military, they will choose other options. 

  The Foundation points out ultimately, reductions and weakening of US forces globally will encourage more terrorism, and prevent the US from responding quickly when situations require military intervention and action.  Apparently Panetta and co. did not learn lessons from the 1970's when it took a number of years under Reagan to rebuild and refurbish the US Military to a point where it was a truly effective fighting force.