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Statement

New Defense Cuts Are Based on Dollars, Not on Strategy
Washington, D.C., Apr 7, 2009
Contact: Jessica Mancari (202) 225-6365

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) released the following statement after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced significant cuts to the defense budget:

“Our national security needs should be determined by strategic planning not budgetary pressure. Today's announcement of defense cuts is a reaction to the fiscal strain caused by trillions in bailout and stimulus spending, rather than a result of regular strategic review and overall threat analysis.  In fact, the Department of Defense will not complete its own strategic review process until next year. Even this year, the Administration’s censoring of senior defense officials and classification of routine reports make it impossible to know what risk our nation is assuming as a result of these cuts. 

“This announcement is especially concerning in that it comes at a time of both unmet needs as well as increased threats. Our Navy currently has $4.6 billion in unmet requirements and operates at a record-low level of ships since WWII. Yet, the Department of Defense announced today that they will shrink our naval fleet to ten carriers. North Korea made it clear this weekend that they will continue to develop long-range missiles, yet our missile defense program faces significant budget reductions.  

“It goes without saying that we should achieve efficiency in our nation's defense budget by eliminating wasteful programs, however it should be done with respect to strategic need rather than budget numbers.”

Congressman Forbes is Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee.

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