While the President has reveled in recent U.S. military accomplishments (even at the expense of classified or sensitive information), his Administration has been guardedly quiet about the defense community’s elephant in the room: the automatic cuts mandated by sequestration.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has repeatedly stated that the cuts will be so devastating that they cannot even plan for them. Either the Pentagon is failing in its responsibilities by not hedging for these catastrophic cuts, or it is not being candid so as to punt this conundrum beyond the election. Regardless of who wins, the real loser will be U.S. national security.
Heritage’s James Carafano commented in the Washington Examiner:
It is a bit of a puzzler. Administration officials have no problem warning—in general terms—that the mandated across-the-boards defense cuts will weaken our military. But the administration has yet to detail publicly how these cuts would affect the companies that produce the military equipment so vital to the survival of our troops and the security of our nation.
It is this disconnect between the President’s rhetoric of austere measures and the actual effects they will have on the defense community that points to politics, not national security, as the driving strategy for DOD.
The President can champion a few instances of success all he wants, but it is clear that America’s security is not a priority in his Administration. Ronald Reagan once reflected, “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.” Congress should take note of this as it considers President Obama’s attempts to reduce national security to historic low levels of funding.