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LOSING TIME: Wielding A Butter Knife

Oct 31, 2017
Defense Drumbeat

“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.”  - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee


"Wielding a Butter Knife"
 

THE PROBLEM:

Giving US forces in the Pacific all that they need to reassure our allies, deter North Korea, and stand up to China is critical to our national security.  As Admiral Harris, the head of US Pacific Command, said this year, “If we have to fight tonight, I don’t want it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery, and the artillery of all of our allies. But as I said during Congressional testimony last year, sequestration could reduce us to wielding a butter knife in this fight. We must not let that happen. In order to deter potential adversaries in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, we must invest in critical capabilities, build a force posture that decreases our vulnerabilities and increases our resiliency, and reassure our allies and partners while encouraging them to be full and cooperative partners in their own defense and the defense of the rules-based international order.”

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY:

Fiscal uncertainty and reduced funding levels have forced the Services to defer replacing worn-out or outdated equipment and delay repairs or improvements to infrastructure, harming future readiness. These impacts will continue to have a negative impact on the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater strategy, specifically our ability to confront the North Korean threat and meet real challenges with China.

 

WHAT WE COULD BE DOING:

The House-passed NDAA increases funding for joint training exercises with our Pacific allies, makes up critical munitions shortfalls that Admiral Harris identified as his “top warfighting concern,” accelerates the procurement of new VIRGINIA class submarines to counter Chinese naval advances, and allows the Air Force to add additional F-35s to the Pacific Theater to counter Russia and China’s 5th generation fighters.

115th Congress

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