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Legion to Congress: Avoid future DoD cuts

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Legion to Congress: Avoid future DoD cuts
DoD Secretary Leon Panetta’s proposed budget cuts include a reduction in conventional forces, slowing the purchase of a next-generation stealth fighter, and retiring older planes and ships. (DoD photo)

With the Pentagon’s release of a five-year budget plan that cuts $260 billion in defense spending, The American Legion is pressing Congress to find other ways by which to reduce the country’s staggering $15.2 trillion debt.

Over the next decade, defense spending must be cut by $450 billion as required by the Budget Control Act passed by Congress last August.

"Congress failed to act last year when the super committee failed to cut more than a trillion dollars from federal budgets," American Legion National Commander Fang A. Wong said. "Our congressional leaders must find the courage to act this year before our national security pays the price with further cuts to defense spending."

Wong noted that President Obama spoke of his commitment to "the finest military in the world" during his State of the Union speech. "But how long can America’s military remain the finest in the world if we keep bleeding its resources and capabilities?" Wong questioned. "We are seeing a shift in the military’s strategic focus from the Middle East to Asia and the Pacific. But what kind of tactical strength will we have to back it up?"

Last October, the 2.4-million member Legion passed a resolution that called upon Congress and the White House "to cease all efforts to reduce the defense budget from its current level."

In its resolution, The American Legion noted that national security spending "did not create the current budget crisis, and further cuts to national defense will not solve it," and that Department of Defense leadership "has continually warned that significant reductions in defense spending pose serious risks to the future security of the United States."

The Legion resolution pointed out that DoD has virtually no research and development for next-generation weapons systems, and its percentage of total federal spending is the lowest since pre-World War II budgets.

If sequestration takes effect next January, DoD will automatically have to cut an additional $540 billion from spending over the next decade.

"Congress needs to halt this fiscal bludgeoning that will only put our men and women in uniform at greater risk when they respond to outside threats – and those threats will most certainly arise," Wong said. "A trillion dollars in savings might make a dent in our federal deficit, but it will gut our military and turn it into something that betrays the trust of our troops."

The budget cuts will also have a serious impact on employment. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has warned that a $1 trillion cut to defense spending could increase the country’s unemployment rate by 1 percent – more than a million jobs.

"Washington still has time to make this right," Wong said. "It needs to take another look at non-discretionary spending and leave the DoD budget alone. After all, what good are entitlements if we can’t defend our own country?"

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bouregaurd

August 31, 2012 - 8:38am

A stronger America is nessasary to combat foreighn invaders. Remove the UN from our shores and shut them out of our business. Fire hillary clinton. And Barack obama

Tami

May 1, 2014 - 12:46pm

What does that have to do with the article?

Tami

May 1, 2014 - 12:50pm

Nevermind, I think you were referencing Kent's comment...

echo1265

March 9, 2012 - 9:18am

Some of these so called "convicts" mentioned are veterans. Another result of the systems' failing to attend to the needs of those that have borne the burden because of cuts.

kent lloyd lofthus

February 9, 2012 - 1:58pm

VFW/Legion must be politically involved to further protect U.S. as we pledged our Lives too. Unratified proposed amendments since the 1800's are infact police policy (Latin/Nazi)practiced in Our Republic/Constitutional Courts/Medical Practice. The Undocumented Roman Catholic/Nazi confusion of our Republic with Naziyouth Pope has financially/morally ruined Our Protestant Nation founded in American English. I read and write six languages.

kent lloyd lofthus

February 9, 2012 - 1:40pm

all branches of U.S. military are our best tools drones are another tool.DoD needs to finish U.S. war on terror from all non-republic governments and secure our borders. Elections need to be policed by VFW/Legion undocumented/convicts VOTE.

psegertx

January 28, 2012 - 4:00pm

You cannot defend the country or win wars with aircraft and remote drones. Gutting DoD will make us weaker while the Chinese expand their military and Iran goes nuclear. This is not good. DoD did not create the deficits.

mikeb9163

January 27, 2012 - 7:00pm

DoD budget shuld be increased to do reserch and development of new weaponsto keep are milatary ahead in our safty and securety in this troubled world

rong01

January 27, 2012 - 11:15am

Policing the world is bleeding us white. We need to... 1. Cut defense spending. 2. Maintain quality of forces that remain. 3. Preserve & enhance veterans benefits. 4. Seek cooperation from other countries to address international security issues.

kent lloyd lofthus

February 9, 2012 - 1:28pm

increase military/space spending,secure borders,drill for oil in USA,stop imports from other forms of government,remove latin from un-constitutional use in U.S. government/medical/judicial,strike police policy unratified proposed amendments from law practice...

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