The House Armed Services Committee chairman warned in a Los Angeles Times op-ed today that President Obama is conducting a dangerous experiment with the armed forces that shows a disconnect with the chiefs of staff and the threats in the world.
“Sequester hurts national security, not just because 50% of the cuts fall on the military’s 18% share of the overall budget but because the Pentagon has been the only place the president is willing to cut,” Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) wrote.
“For four years he has mismanaged our nation’s most vital resource, our uniformed military, fomenting the sequester-inspired readiness crisis it faces today. His actions, his under-resourced strategies, accelerated withdrawal plans and lead-from-behind policies have left the Pentagon far less able to shoulder the burden of another 10% cut.”
Acknowledging that waste needed to be trimmed at the Pentagon, the congressman warned “we have cut down so rapidly and so blindly that we’re in danger of breaking the back of the force.”
“If there were a proposal on the table that spared the troops and heeded Dempsey’s warning of not a dollar more from the armed forces, I would ask House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider it. But after cutting defense three times, the president’s solution to replacing sequester means another $250 billion out of the armed forces and more taxes. The choice the American people are being given is ‘break the military’ or ‘break the military and new taxes.’” McKeon wrote.
“Let’s be clear: Even if the president were given every dollar in new taxes he has requested, it wouldn’t make a difference in our national debt. Entitlement programs will continue to grow out of control, and the amount we spend on interest to service the debt soon will start to outpace even what we spend on the military. The cuts he continues to insist on, while below the level of sequestration, are still severe enough to hollow out our force. This approach forces me to conclude that the president, for all his stump speeches and props, wants the sequester to happen,” he continued.
“The president is forcing America to indulge him in this dangerous experiment with national security. It is unworthy of the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands in uniform whom he has directed into harm’s way over the last four years. It is a reckless experiment when one takes stock of the growing threats and commitments that occupy our forces around the world.”