The recently released budget from the Obama administration offers little comfort in a world still imperiled by acts of war.
Amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and missile tests by North Korea, President Obama is proposing defense cuts that could jeopardize the future vitality and preparedness of America’s armed forces.
At a time for demonstrating “peace through strength,” the president’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget blueprint instead suggests America is on the retreat, with fewer resources to engage as a global leader.
The president is mistaken to suggest that modernizing America’s defense capabilities is an excuse to gut them.
Like many of my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I was appalled to learn that the president’s budget shifts Washington’s financial burdens onto the backs of our men and women in uniform.
In addition to adjustments affecting military pay and benefits, the budget calls for drastic reductions in force structure – so much so that the number of military personnel would return to levels not seen since before World War II.
To be sure, there is widespread agreement that today’s tough budget environment requires everyone to do more with less. But the administration’s ill-advised defense cuts promise to have a far-reaching and profound impact, putting additional burdens on members of the National Guard and hurting military communities across the country.