Putting the Coast Guard Out to Sea

Despite the pressing need to cut government spending, under President Obama’s spending proposal all the nation’s military services are set to see their budgets increase—all, that is, except the Coast Guard, the nation’s chronically overburdened maritime force, responsible for everything from global search and rescue to port security.

Under the president’s proposal, the Coast Guard’s budget will decline by 3 percent, to $10.1 billion, smaller than many medium-sized agencies under the other services. 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.

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