Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today said there is "no good outcome for national defense" in the debt limit agreement. Hunter cautioned any move to indiscriminately cut defense spending--specifically citing the budget trigger in the deal and the possibility of an additional $600 billion in defense cuts--at a time when the U.S. military faces widening readiness gaps, growing reset burdens and increasing mission requirements.
"Cutting America's military by another $600 billion would be catastrophic," said Congressman Hunter. "The future of U.S. security is now in the hands of a 12-person super panel, which, short of reaching an agreement on more than $1 trillion in spending cuts, would trigger a massive reduction in defense spending that would take our military to its breaking point. The spending cut brought on by sequestration will hollow out each service branch, gutting core capability, undermining readiness and preventing humanitarian outreach. We simply won't have the ships, the personnel or the equipment to do what the American people expect the military to do--which is to keep us safe and protect our allies.
"At the moment, it's hard to see what incentive there is for the super committee to find consensus and avoid the sequestration scenario, putting $600 billion in defense spending on the chopping block. And voting no on anything the committee recommends, even if it's higher taxes, is a vote for sequestration and massive defense cuts. It's shaping up to be a bad deal either way.
"This debt deal cannot be allowed to dictate U.S. defense policy for the next decade. It's important that we understand what's at stake with such major defense cuts and think long and hard before making any decision that puts our security at risk."