National Security: A Contrast in Commitment

Fiscal Year 2015 House Republican Budget: The Path to Prosperity

The first job of the federal government is securing the safety and liberty of its citizens from threats at home and abroad. Whether defeating the terrorists who attacked this country on September 11, 2001, deterring the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or battling insurgents who would harbor terrorist networks that threaten Americans’ lives and livelihoods, the men and women of the United States military have performed superbly.

The House Republican budget provides for the best equipment, training, and compensation for their continued success. This budget provides $483 billion more than in the CBO baseline and $274 billion more than requested by the President. This level of spending will remove the need for the severe cuts to end strength and force structure the President has proposed.

The Administration’s Retreat

Over the last five years, the Department of Defense has repeatedly revised downward its estimates of the budgetary resources necessary to meet the nation’s security needs. Since he took office, President Obama has directed over $1 trillion of defense budget cuts. And these repeated reductions in the requested defense budget are taking place in the context of an international environment that remains exceptionally challenging. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified in February that he had “not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe.”[1]

While the specific funding and program decisions would be made by the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees, this budget provides the fiscal resources to make defense policy based on strategy and not budgets, for example:

  • Under the President’s budget, the Army would be smaller than at any time since before World War II.  This budget rejects the significant reductions in the end strength of the Army and Marine Corps.

  • The President’s budget calls into doubt the ability of the Navy to maintain 11 carrier strike groups. This budget rejects the shrinking of this vital strategic capability.

  • The President’s budget would put in dry dock half of the cruiser fleet. This budget provides funding sufficient to maintain and modernize the entire fleet.

[1] James R. Clapper, “Current and Future Worldwide Threats to the National Security of the United States,” 11 Feb. 2014.