Blog: Bring U.S. Military in Line With New Reality

Statement

By:  Jon Huntsman, Jr.
Date: Nov. 22, 2011
Location: Unknown

A president's most solemn duty is to protect America and her people -- a responsibility that, in a time of evolving security threats and unsustainable debt, will only grow harder for the next administration.

In the aftermath of the failure of the super committee, we are facing cuts in defense. Yet there has still been little discussion about overall defense spending priorities and how we must transform our defense infrastructure for the 21st century.

Some of my opponents suggest maintaining the status quo, thus avoiding the tough decisions. Others advocate retrenchment and isolationism through draconian across-the-board cuts, which brings greater instability and risks.

Still others revert to the oft-repeated pledge to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse from the Pentagon -- a worthy cause yet one of minimal consequence. Cutting wasteful spending alone amounts to only pennies on the dollar and leaves in place the same archaic defense infrastructure.

These approaches miss the target in two respects. First, they let resources drive strategy, rather than using strategy to drive force structure and capabilities. Second, they fail to fundamentally alter our defense posture -- so any short-term savings will be quickly erased.