We commend Congress and President Obama for reaching a deal to extend the debt limit and avoiding a disastrous default. But the deal also dangles a Sword of Damocles over our national security later this year when further cuts would be triggered unless another compromise is reached. The cuts to defense proposed in the ‘trigger’ deal are so draconian that it’s hard to believe they are even on the table.
In the initial round of proposed reductions, cutting an estimated $350 billion more from the defense budget forces Pentagon leadership to make extremely tough decisions. In this difficult process, the aerospace industry is committed to working hand-in-hand with Pentagon leadership to reduce costs and ensure the United States maintains our technological advantage in defense.
But the $600 billion in additional cuts to defense that are part of the so-called ‘trigger’ deal are a dangerous approach that could compromise our national security for decades to come, while at the same time failing to create fiscal stability. Worst of all, they could leave our troops with old, worn-out equipment, diminished capability and vulnerable to threats from across the globe.
National security funding should not be treated as a piggy bank for deficit reduction, while the real drivers of our fiscal problems, such as entitlement spending, are off the table. Defense spending must be consistent with our national interests and real military needs.