SASC Chairman Inhofe Statement on NDS Commission Report

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, praised the release of the National Defense Strategy Commission report today:

 

“I want to thank the members of the National Defense Strategy Commission, especially its co-chairs Eric Edelman and Gary Roughead, for the tremendous service they have rendered on behalf of the Congress and the nation.

“The commission’s unanimous and bipartisan report makes clear that our nation confronts a stark choice. To address our present national security crisis and restore America’s eroding military advantage, we must fully resource and implement the National Defense Strategy. If we fail to do so, the cost will be measured in American lives lost fighting wars that might have been avoided and may very well be lost. 

“The 2018 National Defense Strategy—with its clear prioritization of strategic competition with China and Russia and its emphasis on a more lethal force and the importance of allies and partners—was a good start. But we need more than a strategy on paper. America needs a strategy in action. And as the commission’s report makes clear: we aren’t there yet, and we have a lot of work left to do.

“In particular, I am troubled by the commission’s unequivocal assessment that the National Defense Strategy is not adequately resourced, and that our nation is ‘very near the point of strategic insolvency.’ I agree with the commission’s report that there must be ‘greater urgency and seriousness in funding national defense’ in order to ensure we can undertake essential nuclear and conventional modernization while rectifying readiness shortfalls. That is why I believe the $733 billion defense budget originally proposed by President Trump for fiscal year 2020 should be considered a floor, not a ceiling, for funding our troops.

“We have to understand that defending America is our number one priority. As it did during the development of the National Defense Strategy, the Senate Armed Services Committee will seek to work collaboratively with the Department of Defense to achieve its full implementation. It will be a top priority of my chairmanship to properly align defense resource with the National Defense Strategy and ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. Because the stakes for our national security are so high, we will not hesitate to use our oversight to hold the Pentagon accountable for results and take corrective action when necessary.” 

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 charged the National Defense Commission with providing Congress an independent review of the National Defense Strategy, which was released earlier this year. The report contains a detailed evaluation of the National Defense Strategy, including issues such as the challenge from China and Russia, the requirement for nuclear and conventional modernization, addressing continuing readiness shortfalls, the importance of U.S. overseas military posture and the need for a timely, consistent, and growing defense budget.