Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement at today's posture hearing with the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey:
"Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing. I would like to thank our witnesses, the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, for appearing here today. Both of them have long and distinguished careers on behalf of our nation.
"Earlier this year, the President released the findings of a strategic review, which clearly articulated the global threat environment, and presented a broad strategy to address those threats moving forward. The budget released earlier this week supports that strategy by ensuring that our military has the tools and resources necessary to deter, confront and defeat threats wherever they may emerge. This is the right way to develop a defense budget - generate a coherent strategy, and then provide resources to fund that strategy.
"I have consistently said that we can rationally evaluate our national security strategy, our defense expenditures, and the current set of missions we ask the military to undertake and come up with a strategy that enhances national security by spending taxpayer dollars more wisely and effectively. I believe FY2013 defense budget meets that goal.
"This budget is also fully consistent with the funding levels set by the Budget Control Act passed by Congress. Although I did not support this act, many members of the House Armed Services Committee did, Congress passed it, and the Department of Defense has submitted a budget that complies with the congressionally-mandated funding levels.
"Over the last few years, our military has put together a significant string of foreign policy successes, including the death of bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki, the elimination of much of al Qaeda's leadership, the end of the war in Iraq, and supporting the uprising in Libya. The budget lays out a strategy that will enable the United States to build on those successes and confront the threats of today as well as in the future."