The Pentagon has endured cuts and drawdowns before like those prior to the Reagan administration and again during the Clinton administration. However, Obama's cuts and the accompanying shift in strategy are unprecedented, especially during a time of unrest. These cuts mean the Pentagon will be forced to drastically cut personnel numbers and potentially cut programs such as the F-35 and the littoral combat ship. It means delaying the next-generation ballistic missile submarine, terminating the next-generation bomber, and eliminating the entire ICBM leg of our nuclear triad.
While it is too soon to know how these cuts will impact the integral role Oklahoma plays in our national defense, we could be faced with significant impacts at all our military installations.
Defense spending didn't create our budget crisis. Even if the entire defense budget was zeroed out, our nation would still be crippled with debt because of endless bailouts, the failed stimulus and runaway entitlement spending. The only thing significant defense cuts will accomplish is an increased risk to our national security with decreased global stability. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.”
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.