-U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today expressed his strong opposition to the proposed Obama Administration defense cuts. Inhofe is adamantly opposed to another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round.
"The President continues to gut our military and national defense as an offset to pay for his liberal domestic agenda," said Inhofe "Cuts or increases in military spending should be based on strategy. Instead, it seems we've developed a strategy to fit Obama's budget cuts.
"While the details of the defense cuts will not be released for several more weeks, it is clear that they will have detrimental effects across the force and will impact our military installations in Oklahoma and many other states. The President's defense cuts will impact training and operations, cut manpower from all services, and reduce the number of ships, ground vehicles and aircraft. It also will have a negative impact on modernization as our troops continue to fight with equipment that, in some cases, is beyond 60 years old."
Inhofe continued, "I opposed the 2005 BRAC and will not support a BRAC if called for under Obama's latest round of budget cuts. However, should we lose that fight, I am ready to stand with our communities to highlight Oklahoma's strengths that have benefited all our military installations in past BRAC rounds."
"I will fight any cuts that prevent our military from successfully defending our nation and its people. Our troops deserve the best we can give them. We should not pay for Washington's fiscal problems on their backs. The United States must build and sustain military capabilities required to respond to possible future threats across the full spectrum of conflict. That spectrum cannot be focused on one type of force, a specific theater of operations, or one battle plan concept.
"Our men and women in uniform are doing the best they can with what they have been given. The same is true for their leadership at the Pentagon. Unfortunately, President Obama has given them very little to work with."
Inhofe has long fought damaging military cuts, and pointed out that the military drawdown of the 1990s left the country with a military too small to meet the instability and threats of a post-Cold War world. He noted that the country had to increase the size of our ground forces and rely heavily on National Guard and Reserve units to fight post-9/11 conflicts. Any reduction in our active components will place an even heavier burden on our already stretched Guard and Reserve, causing our all volunteer force to suffer.
Inhofe believes the United States should continue, as it has since the end of World War II, to be the leader of the free world; militarily, politically, and economically. Inhofe expressed concern that as President Obama attempts to further cut our military, nations like China are stepping up with more military investment and stand ready to fill a potential global vacuum.