WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) fresh back from a trip to visit troops in Afghanistan, today made the following statement after President Obama unveiled his new defense strategy that included an extensive focus on the continent of Asia and budget reductions to the Department of Defense (DoD) at a press conference attended by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
“President Obama’s new defense strategy further decimates a military already stretched thin and working with old equipment while threatening our nation’s security. Under this new strategy, the United States government will shift its focus primarily to Asia at the detriment of other problem areas around the world. It is extremely important for our national defense strategy to have a balanced approach that is capable and ready to fight a broad spectrum of threats simultaneously. The President’s new strategy threatens that balance as well as training, readiness, and equipment.
“While the Pentagon is doing the best they can with what this President has given them, this shift in strategy and reduction in land forces in the Army and Marines will force an even heavier reliance on an overworked National Guard. The President’s choice to abandon the current strategy is a dangerous shift. We must not lose focus on threats like Iran and North Korea as well as problem areas like Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Pakistan, Mexico, Libya, and others. This is far worse than the draw down our nation experienced prior to the Reagan administration and again during the Clinton administration. Without force structure and resources needed to modernize our weapon systems, our Armed Forces will not be able to deter future attacks and prevent other countries from initiating conflict. President Obama has put our national defense on the chopping block in order to fund his radically liberal social programs and ideology. This is entirely irresponsible and unacceptable. Our men and women in uniform deserve and expect better.”