January 25, 2018
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), discussed global threats with Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman Of Kissinger Associates and former Secretary of State; Dr. George P. Shultz, Thomas W. And Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University and former Secretary of State; and Mr. Richard L. Armitage, President of Armitage International and former Deputy Secretary of State.
As prepared for delivery:
The Senate Armed Services Committee meets this morning to receive testimony on global challenges and U.S. national security strategy.
It is my honor to welcome our distinguished witnesses, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Your careers of service to this nation are held in the highest regard by this committee.
Let me begin by reading a brief welcome from Chairman McCain, who regrets that he is unable to be here for today’s hearing: “With the rising global challenges of an increasingly complex and competitive strategic environment, America needs the leadership, wisdom, and experience that only statesmen of this stature can provide. This committee and this nation thank you for your service, and we are grateful for your continued voices of reason during these troubling times. We look to you for the lessons of history as we all seek to secure a safer, freer, and more prosperous world.”
Speaking on behalf of the entire committee, we all look forward to having the chairman back soon and I’m sure he will be.
Now more than ever, the challenges of today’s world require strategic vision. Each of you is uniquely qualified to help this committee think through not only our present challenges but also the strategy needed to meet them.
Three years ago, Secretaries Kissinger and Shultz appeared before this committee along with Secretary Albright discuss global challenges and the strategy necessary to defeat them. .
The insights and wisdom you offered then were prescient and have borne out in the years since.
The Trump administration recently released the new National Defense Strategy, which emphasizes the priority of near-pear competition, the danger of rogue nations, and the enduring threat of terrorism.
The National Defense Strategy is a frank and realistic view of the global strategic environment.
It offers a blueprint for protecting our national interests and reestablishing America’s position as the undisputed leader of the free world. And it shows a commitment to restoring our military advantage across all domains and strengthening and expanding key alliances.
We ask each of you to help us think though this strategy and the challenges it addresses in the context of history, strategy, and statecraft.
The members of this committee are well aware that the key to any strategy—implementation—will require resources.
We need to cast aside politics and find a way to fix the defense spending caps that have for too long starved our military in both readiness and modernization.
We thank you for your service and look forward to your testimony.