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Lawmakers warn about Obama’s ‘crazy’ defense cuts

• February 17, 2012 3:28 pm

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A delegation of top Republican foreign policy voices blasted the Obama administration yesterday for what they say is a startling lack of regard for America’s military preparedness.

Speaking at a budget event hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative yesterday, the lawmakers expressed concern that defense cuts could gut the U.S. military, leaving the nation under prepared and vulnerable to attack.

"We cut back after World War I … we cut back after World War II, after Korea, after Vietnam—it seems like it’s in our DNA that we cut back so that we are not prepared for the next confrontation, and that leads to the next confrontation," said Rep. Howard McKeon (R., Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee.

"As you run down your ability, your strength, somebody is always going to be out there to take advantage of it. I have seen us do this time and time again," McKeon explained. "I have never seen us do this when we are at war. This is the first time I’ve seen us do this when we have actually got troops going outside the wire everyday in harm’s way. It’s crazy."

Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) reminded attendees that before Obama took office, he promised to veto any effort to reflexively slash the defense budget.

"The President said that he would veto any effort to do this," Kyl said. "Now, he’s the Commander-in-Chief, and when his own Defense Secretary says that it would be catastrophic, it seems to me that the President needs to readjust his thinking on that."

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) came out in favor of streamlining the Pentagon and making it more efficient, but noted that he won’t stand by while the administration arbitrarily reduces defense spending.

"I will fight with my last ounce of political being to make sure we don’t go down the sequestration route because it will destroy America’s defense, but I will work with this administration, Republicans and Democrats, to reform the way we appropriate and buy weapons systems," Graham said.

Published under: Federal Budget