Coast Guard Funds Slashed

The first line of defense against nuclear terrorism, the U.S. Coast Guard also fights drug smuggling and international piracy, and is the nation’s first responder to emergencies at home and abroad. Coast Guard cutters helped evacuate Americans after January’s catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

The Coast Guard can only be so effective, however, with its increasingly straining budget. Its aging fleet, in need of repairs, puts crews at risk and makes it difficult for them to do their jobs. In an op-ed piece on the New York Times website, Lawrence J. Korb and Sean E. Duggan say that under President Obama’s spending proposal, the Coast Guard is the only military service in the U.S. whose budget is being cut while the rest receive increased funds.

“It’s a puzzling decision, considering the increasingly critical role the Coast Guard plays in protecting the national security interests of the United States – and considering that many much less vital military programs have been spared,” Korb and Duggan write.

To read their op-ed piece, click here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/opinion/27korb.html