U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on future reductions in defense spending. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"We have built the finest military in the history of the world, and a strong national defense is the number one priority of the federal government. I realize our current budget situation demands that everything, including defense, be on the table for some level of spending reductions.
* First, we should place Defense Department spending under the microscope with a goal of achieving $400 billion plus in savings over the next decade. This is a difficult but achievable task.
* Second, we must replace the sequestration provisions of the Budget Control Act which calls for an additional $600 billion in defense spending reductions. These additional reductions come about because of the failure of the Super Committee.
"Secretary Panetta has warned that an additional $600 billion cut to defense, coming on top of the $400 billion discussed today, would destroy our defenses. After ten years and more than $1 trillion in total defense cuts, we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915 and the smallest Air Force in history.
"The Super Committee's failure should not be an excuse to destroy our national defense and I hope President Obama understands the real, negative consequences to our national security by cutting more than $1 trillion out of defense over the next decade. He only needs to listen to his Secretary of Defense and our military leadership who have warned in the most candid fashion, what a reduction of this size would do to our nation."