The Foreign Policy Initiative has released this statement from its board of directors in support of the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal:

“The Budget Conference Committee, co-chaired by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), has presented Congress with an important opportunity to begin reversing the irresponsible and dangerous cuts imposed on the Defense Department by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Ryan-Murray budget proposal would restore $22 billion in defense spending in fiscal year 2014 and $9 billion in fiscal year 2015. This is an essential first step in the right direction, and we applaud the Committee for taking it.

“But much more needs to be done. The past three years of defense cuts have imperiled our military’s ability to deter conflicts through strength and win our nation’s wars. Only two of the Army’s 45 Brigade Combat Teams are now combat-ready. The Navy cancelled five ship deployments in 2013, and has halved the number of aircraft carriers that are stationed near the Persian Gulf. The Air Force grounded 31 of its squadrons this year. And the Marine Corps has cut funding for general training in order to be able to fully train, man, and equip those specific units bound for Afghanistan.

“While the Ryan-Murray budget proposal will begin to address this crisis, it restores only some of the previously planned defense spending in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. It leaves untouched further defense cuts between fiscal years 2016 and 2021. After adopting the Ryan-Murray proposal, Congress should move forward to fully reverse defense sequestration and adopt defense budgets that meet our nation’s needs.”

The FPI board is made up of Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor.

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