House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith made the following statement at the Army posture hearing today:
"Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing today. I want to also thank the witnesses, Secretary of the Army, John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno 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. While this strategic review appropriately places a renewed focus on the critically important Asia-Pacific region, the Army will continue to play a key role in our national defense.
"First and foremost, the Army is still engaged in Afghanistan and other places around the world, where our troops continue to do a tremendous job. Over the last ten years, the Army has been an important part of our efforts to defeat violent extremists and ensure our national security. Moving forward, your role will be different, but no less important. The budget put forth this week affords the Army the opportunity to return to full spectrum training, and ensure we are prepared to face the array of threats of the future.
"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 Army, 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."