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Obama's Defense Spending Claims Are Wrong

8:55 AM, Nov 3, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Foreign Policy Initiative provides this fact-sheet to debunk President Obama's false defense spending claims:

FACT:  Military leaders did not ask for or "want" President Obama’s current defense budget, which cuts $487 billion in the next decade.
 
No one disputes that the U.S. Armed Forces oppose “sequestration,” the automatic spending reductions that, beginning in January 2013, will indiscriminately cleave $500 billion from national defense over the next decade.  General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has cautioned that sequestration will pose “very high risk” to national security.  As General Dempsey later elaborated:  “In my personal military judgment, formed over 38 years, we are living in the most dangerous time in my lifetime right now, and I think sequestration would be completely oblivious to that, and counterproductive.”
 
More important, military leaders did not ask that President Obama’s pre-sequestration budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013 slash $487 billion from defense in the next ten years.  Rather, the country’s civilian leadership—which is to say, the Obama administration's most senior officials—instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to accommodate and absorb long-term cuts of that magnitude.  In response, the military—which, after all is civilian-controlled—complied.  Pursuant to President Obama’s guidance, the Pentagon issued a new strategy for national defense in January 2012 that abandoned the traditional concept of sizing the military to be capable of fighting two wars at the same time, and replaced it with a one-war sizing concept.  However, military leaders have warned that Obama’s pre-sequestration budget is barely adequate to fund even this less-ambitious defense strategy.  As General Dempsey told congressional lawmakers in February 2012, “Anything beyond this [$487 billion in defense cuts], we have to go back to the drawing board on the strategy.”
 
FACT:  Military leaders preferred much higher levels of long-term spending in prior years.
 
The public record shows that the U.S. military did prefer higher levels of long-term funding for defense in previous years.  In February 2011, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed to a defense budget proposal for FY 2012 that would have spent $487 billion more over a 10-year period than President Obama’s current FY2013 defense budget proposal.  And in February 2010, Gates and the military agreed to a defense budget proposal for FY2011 that would have spent nearly $300 billion more over a 10-year period than the defense budget proposal for FY2012.

Whole thing here.

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