Rudy Giuliani just said, again, that it was Bill Clinton who cut the military in the 1990s. Wrong, it was Dick Cheney, and the proof is on the Department of Defense’s own Web site, in Dick Cheney’s official bio:
In subsequent years under Cheney the budgets proposed and the final outcomes followed patterns similar to the FY 1990 budget experience. Early in 1991 the secretary unveiled a plan to reduce military strength by the mid-1990s to 1.6 million, compared to 2.2 million when he entered office….
Over Cheney’s four years as secretary of defense, encompassing budgets for fiscal years 1990-93, DoD’s total obligational authority in current dollars declined from $291.3 billion to $269.9 billion. Except for FY 1991, when the TOA budget increased by 1.7 percent, the Cheney budgets showed negative real growth: -2.9 percent in 1990, -9.8 percent in 1992, and -8.1 percent in 1993. During this same period total military personnel declined by 19.4 percent, from 2.202 million in FY 1989 to 1.776 million in FY 1993. The Army took the largest cut, from 770,000 to 572,000-25.8 percent of its strength. The Air Force declined by 22.3 percent, the Navy by 14 percent, and the Marines by 9.7 percent.
That means Cheney wanted to cut the number of US servicemembers by 27% but ended up settling for 20%. He cut the Army by 25%. The Air Force by 22%. Dick Cheney decimated our military in the 1990s. Why is nobody talking about this? Oh that’s right, because we suck.