Issue Position: 4% for Defense of Freedom
4% for Defense of Freedom
The greatest trust placed upon Congress by the American people is to provide for their security by maintaining a strong national defense. As a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Inhofe introduced a Joint Resolution (S.JR10) in the Senate with Congressman Trent Franks introducing the identical Joint Resolution in the House which sets a minimum baseline for defense spending at 4% of the GDP. With this resolution the country can achieve two critical needs -- national security and economic growth.
In a floor speech delivered on Feb. 12, Sen. Inhofe outlined the needs for setting a baseline budget: "Today, our military is fighting with equipment that is decades old and a force structure that is 40% less than what it was in the 1980s. For the past 17 years, our military has been asked to do more with much less and much older equipment. It is taking a toll on our people and our equipment at sea, on land and in the air. The United States must build and sustain military capabilities required to respond to possible future threats across the spectrum of conflict.
"Many other countries are able to buy avionics, airframes, and weapons to create aircraft that rival our current F-15s, F-16s, and F-18s, such as Russian Su-27s, Su-30s and 35s. We can solve this problem if we invest in our F-22 and F-35 programs, and buy the number needed to ensure American air superiority in the future. Some systems in the Army are overmatched by systems sold by other countries. Five other countries have better artillery systems than the United States. This will change when we field the Non-Line of Sight Cannon, the first of the FCS Man Ground Vehicles. Our Navy, who has ensured freedom of the seas for over 200 years, is being challenged around the globe due to growth of other nation's navies and proliferation of weapons systems developed to deny us access to the seas.
"Our level of defense spending must consider the resources needed to meet current and future threats. In order to provide this stability, Congress needs to guarantee a baseline budget in defense funding, enabling the Pentagon to execute sustained multiyear program investments. Guaranteeing a baseline budget, not including supplemental funding, that sets a floor based on our GDP is the best way to accomplish this."