House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement at the Navy posture hearing today:
"Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing today. I want to also thank the witnesses, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert and the Commandant of the Marine Corps General James Amos for appearing here today and for their dedicated service to our country.
"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. This strategic review appropriately places a renewed focus on the critically important Asia-Pacific region.
"A key component of this strategic shift is, as Secretary Panetta stated yesterday, a "Navy that maintains forward presence and is able to penetrate enemy defenses and a Marine Corps that is a middleweight expeditionary force with reinvigorated amphibious capabilities." The 2013 Defense Budget ensures this by providing the Navy and Marine Corps with the resources and tools they need to continue to be essential parts of the strongest fighting force the world has ever seen.
"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 this budget meets that goal as well.
"Overall, the defense 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, with the strong support of the Navy and Marine Corps, 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."
"I want to thank the witnesses again and I look forward to hearing their testimony."