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Congressional Panel Sounds Warning

The United States military faces “high risk” as a result of the failure to provide enough funding to execute the strategy to “pivot” towards Asia. This is among the findings of the National Defense Panel, led by William Perry, a former Secretary of Defense in the Clinton Administration, and former CENTCOM commander John Abiazad.

According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, the panel, appointed by Congress and the Pentagon, said that the capabilities the Quadrennial Defense Review called for “clearly exceed the budget resources made available to the department.”

Recent cuts in the last two years have included the decision to scrap three carriers, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which was serving on active duty. Two carriers being kept in reserve, USS Forrestal (CV 59) and USS Saratoga (CV 60), have also been sold for scrap for a penny each.

The report also said, “This gap is disturbing if not dangerous in light of the fact that global threats and challenges are rising, including a troubling pattern of territorial assertiveness and regional intimidation on China’s part, [and] the recent aggression of Russia in Ukraine.”

The Free Beacon also quoted the report as saying, “Although our conventional capabilities have significantly improved since that time, so have the capabilities of our potential adversaries, and the security environment facing the department 20 years ago was far less challenging than today and what is projected for tomorrow.”

According to the Free Beacon report, Obama’s defense budgets have proposed cuts of $487 billion over ten years. The sequestration cuts enacted in 2011 have added another $102 billion over Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.