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Sen. Inhofe's Statement on President Bush's Address to the Nation

Location: Washington, DC


WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement on President Bush's address to the nation last night.

"President Bush made a strong presentation to our nation that focused on our troop's accomplishments in Iraq and the challenges that still lie ahead in the ongoing war on terror," Inhofe said. "After years of neglect under the previous administration, the men and women of our nation's military continue to achieve a great deal.

"We must not forget that our military was literally cut in half during the Clinton administration in regard to end-strength. During that time our nation eliminated eight Army Divisions (Approximately 15,000 troops each), 66 Air Wings, and 289 total ships, including 156 combat ships. In addition to this, America's defense spending [as a percentage of GDP] was declining year after year until our current President came into office.

"It is important that Americans realize our President is trying to repair our nation's military from the damage inflicted under the previous administration for the protection of American lives. Our guard and reserve units are being pushed to their respective breaking points in order to compensate for what our country's standing force cannot fulfill alone.

"When our nation is involved in military operations in multiple theaters a shortfall of troops, equipment, and supplies can become a potentially lethal liability. Correcting this will take money and the President has requested these additional funds in order to rectify the 'hollow force' legacy left to us by the Clinton administration.

"In light of these facts, I was pleased that President Bush placed great emphasis on increasing the burden sharing amongst coalition members in Iraq. I am proud of America's men and women on the front lines of freedom and I will continue to support the President and our troops in our fight in the war on terror."

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