The recent announcement by President Obama to cut the military budget by $400 billion dollars is cause for concern and caution. History has repeatedly shown that reducing force size when a war ends is a recipe for disaster. Simply put, the world continues to be a dangerous place; we must remain always ready to defend our country and stand by our allies. While I agree that we must look at all federal agencies to reduce spending, we must remember that national defense is a primary role of the federal government as explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution. These are some of the most dangerous times in global security. With nations such as Iran on the brink of nuclear capabilities and threatening to attack us and our strongest allies, such as Israel, reducing our military spending to this degree without expecting our security capacity to be challenged would be naïve and irresponsible. There is no doubt that federal spending must be reduced. For every dollar spent by the federal government, forty cents is borrowed. As anyone who has tried to balance a family budget can tell you, this type of deficit spending cannot continue without long term negative consequences. A serious discussion of ways to bring the budget under control is needed.
For nearly a century, regardless of the sitting President’s party affiliation, American military doctrine has held that it is in the best interest of the United States to have the military capacity to fight two wars simultaneously. It is unfortunate, but these are not times during which we can take a chance, hope for the best, and say that we will respond accordingly if something were to happen. Instead, we must ensure that the brave men and women who defend our lives and our liberty, like those at the Fort Hamilton Army Garrison in Brooklyn, have the proper tools to do so.
Bob Turner (R—Marine Park) is a Congressman representing New York’s 9th district.