U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the strategic review announced by President Obama, Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey at the Pentagon this morning:
"The highest priority of the U.S. government and the Congress is to provide for our national defense. This objective will undoubtedly be influenced by budget realities, especially in this time of fiscal crisis, but the one thing we truly cannot afford is a budget-driven defense strategy. The current and emerging global threats to our national security are more complex than at any time that I can recall. Therefore, I will closely, carefully, and thoroughly review the defense strategy that the President announced today and examine whether it meets our national security objectives.
"I understand the need for reductions in defense spending, but we must also address the broader cultural problem plaguing our defense establishment: the waste, inefficiency, and ineffective programs that result from an overly consolidated military-industrial-Congressional complex. We must eliminate the shameless cost overruns that characterize too many of our defense programs. We must cut Congressional earmarks and pork-barrel spending on programs that the military does not request and does not need. And we must continue to identify greater efficiencies in our defense budget.
"The United States must continue to lead the world in order to ensure our economic prosperity and national security, which is vital to the future of our country and the opportunities we provide to our children and grandchildren. For that reason, when it comes to how we fund and procure our defense programs, business as usual will not cut it. I intend to ensure that our national defense strategy and budgets continue to strengthen America in its position of global leadership."