The United States used Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit the Islamic State in the opening strikes in Syria this week – a missile system that President Barack Obama’s budget proposal had slated for elimination by 2016.
In this photo released by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) launches Tomahawk cruise missiles, in the Arabian Gulf, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. Syria said Tuesday that Washington informed President Bashar Assad's government of imminent U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State group, hours before an American-led military coalition pounded the extremists' strongholds across northern and eastern Syria. (AP Photo/Carlos M. Vazquez II, U.S. Navy)
Further, nearly half of the Tomahawk missiles – or 47 percent of what the U.S. planned to buy next year – were already used this week in the strikes, according to Investor’s Business Daily. The administration also sought to eliminate or scale back the F-22 Raptors and the A-10 Warthog, also being used in the conflict with the Sunni militant group.
“The president launches attacks on the Islamic State with two weapons systems that were targeted for elimination by the administration years before their usefulness ended or any replacements were ready,” the IBD editorial says.
The White House Office of Management and Budget did not immediately respond to TheBlaze.
The Navy previously had plans to purchase 980 additional Tomahawk missiles but under Obama’s budget proposal, the Navy would buy 100 Tomahawks in fiscal year 2015. The number would be zero in 2016, Defense News reported in March.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said at the time the reduction is to shift investment to a “new next-generation land attack weapon” adding that “Block IV Tactical Tomahawks exceeds combat requirements,” Defense News reported.
Still, when Obama ordered airstrikes against Libya in March 2011, about 220 total Tomahawks were fired to support the Libyan rebels against dictator Mammary Gadhafi.
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, which travels at high speed and can evade radar detection, was also used in combat in the Syria against the Islamic State targets. However, F-22 production was capped at 187 in the fiscal year 2010 budget and the last was produced in 2011, IBD reports.
In 2009, Obama called further funding of the F-22s, and “inexcusable waste of money,” and said, “If more money goes to F-22s, it is our troops and our citizens who lose.”
Obama had the backing of then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the F-22 cuts.
Another weapon that was set to be eliminated but will be used against the Islamic State is the A-10 Warthog, a weapon produced during the Cold War to battle Soviet tanks on a European battlefield. But the Pentagon is reportedly planning to send A-10s to the Middle East next month.