Congressional Hearings - March 8, 2012
We want to welcome all of our members and our distinguished panel of experts to today's hearing that will focus on the administration's request for another base realignment and closure round. I want to begin by apologizing to all of our witnesses for the fact that we've had to delay this because of our votes. Thank you so much for your patience and putting up with that delay.
And I welcome this discussion to assess whether our facilities and infrastructure are aligned with our force structure, but to answer this question I think we need to assess the size of our armed forces. In my estimation there are two courses of action for Congress to consider: While our military exists in an era of peace and tranquility that includes reducing the size of our armed forces or one that presumes the changing security environment will challenge our strategic objectives and require a robust military to provide peace and stability.
One does not need to look too far in our past to predict our future. Countless intelligence estimates underscore the fact that we will be challenged in any number of regions and by numerous nongovernmental entities. The proliferation of nuclear capabilities as sought by Iran and North Korea, the emerging influence of an expanding People's Republic of China, and the continued instability in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya all point to an uncertain future where our nation's armed forces will be called upon to provide stability.
I believe in maintaining peace through strength. I believe that a strong economy requires a strong military to protect the free flow of goods around the world. And I believe in American exceptionalism.
My friends, it's for these reasons that I believe our nation is charting the wrong course with these sweeping military reductions. The president's new strategic guidance departs from a bipartisan strategy that's been in existence for nearly two decades.
The shortsighted, budget-driven imperatives underpinning this strategy presume our military will not be required to prevail in two simultaneous regional engagements. Again, in my estimation this direction is fraught with danger and will place American interests as well as American lives at risk.
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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.