General Martin E. Dempsey - Thursday, January 26, 2012
Thank you, Mr Secretary.
Just a few weeks ago, we released a new defense strategy. It is a strategy that keeps America safe. It represents clear strategic choices in the context of a persistently dangerous and increasingly competitive security environment. These choices are reflected in the President’s proposed defense budget for the next fiscal year.
As with the strategy, the Joint Chiefs and I worked closely with the President, Secretary Panetta, and the Service Secretaries. Throughout, we made sure that the unique strengths of each Service were recognized. At the same time, we put national security above parochial interests—exactly what the American people should expect from us.
In the end, we prepared a budget that strikes an appropriate and necessary balance between succeeding in today’s conflicts and preparing for tomorrow’s. This balance accounts for real risks and real fiscal constraints. It represents a responsible investment in our nation’s security.
But make no mistake, the tradeoffs were tough. The choices were complex. The difficult decisions represented here produce $259 billion in savings over the next five years. And, this is just the first installment on our way to a half trillion dollars in defense savings.
Even with these reductions, the budget still makes a $614 billion investment in our nation’s security. It maintains our military’s decisive edge and helps sustain America’s global leadership. And, it keeps faith with the true source of our military’s strength—our people.
Much will be said and written about the individual decisions underlying this budget. Some may be tempted to view them through the prism of a zero sum game, parsing through each cut, each change, to look for a winner or loser. That is the least productive way to assess this budget.
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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.