May 19, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and member of the Senate Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, recently pressed Lt. Gens. Frank Panter, Jr. of the U.S. Marine Corps, Mitchell Stevenson of the U.S. Army, and Loren Reno of the U.S. Air Force for their current assessment of military resources and national defense systems. Inhofe continues to be a leading proponent to providing our nation’s troops with adequate resources necessary to protecting our nation and allies.
“In order for our troops to protect this nation and its allies, we must ensure our military is adequately funded,” said Inhofe. “However, many of my colleagues in Congress continue to advocate for less defense spending and simply do not hold our national security as high of a priority as I do. Historically, in 1962 our defense spending made up 9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Last year, total defense spending made up of 3.7 percent of the GDP, and now the Obama administration is encouraging Congress to cut defense funds even lower. This is unacceptable. Without adequate funds, we cannot provide the necessary resources to our nation’s troops which inevitably endanger our military readiness and the very security of our country.”
When asked how a decreased defense budget affects the risk of our nation’s military readiness, Panter responded, “If we don’t get help from Congress to reset our equipment… we are at risk to respond to contingencies.”
On the U.S. Air Force’s ability to effectively replace parts needed for use on a slashed budget, Reno said, “The choices available when a part is not available are not good. None of them are good. It’s either inefficient, delayed, or waiting. None of the choices are good if the part is not available.”