Congressional Republicans Also Seek End to Cuts
By Harold Hutchison
The Obama Administration’s attempt to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II close-air support aircraft, better known as the Warthog, has been under fire. Now, the fight has come to a new level as Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and John McCain (R-AZ) have taken the fight for the A-10 public.
The op-ed the Senators wrote on realcleardefense.com noted one instance where the plane saved lives, “The A-10 was certainly a game changer last July in Afghanistan when enemy forces ambushed a convoy. Enemy forces had injured three soldiers and the rest were pinned down behind vehicles as they received a large amount of fire from nearby trees and surrounding terrain.”
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, the fight over the A-10 is not the only one brewing over Obama’s proposed cuts, as House Republicans passed a defense budget that restored over $270 billion in cuts that Obama proposed. Efforts are also underway to prevent the early retirement of another aircraft carrier in the wake of the early retirement of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which was retired in December, 2012, despite growing aggression from China, North Korea, and Iran.
“Don’t make any mistake about it—bad guys in the world, they’re looking at our weakness and they’re saying attack,” Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) said. Byrne also noted Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea, and slammed the Obama Administration for only providing 300,000 MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat), and for refusing requests for intelligence and weapons.
Tom Price, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, has proposed reviving plans to put missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, which the Obama Administration cancelled in 2009. Price noted that the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, which guaranteed the territorial integrity of the Ukraine in exchange for that country surrendering its nukes.
“If you’re sitting in Putin’s seat right now, what’s to stop you?” Price asked.