To that end, the Pentagon is finalizing its “AirSea Battle” concept that will define how we ensure continued access to the Asia Pacific region amid a rising China that aspires to assert its regional military and economic power, excluding the United States.
Undermining the military’s future ability to project power and embrace a 21st-century readiness posture in the Asia Pacific by blindly slashing defense spending is not only unwise, it is downright dangerous.
All this is not to say there isn’t room for improvement in financial and acquisition management within the Department of Defense.
Panetta, at the urging of Congress, has directed his department to accelerate plans to get its financial books in order. He has accelerated the timeline for a clean audit of all the department’s receipts, expenditures and obligations a full three years ahead of the Congressionally mandated deadline. This will provide Congress and taxpayers an unprecedented ability to eliminate inefficiency, waste and fraud.
Starting the discussion with budget caps and program cuts puts the cart before the horse. While this might bring short-term savings, history tells us it will have significant long-term costs in both American lives and treasure.
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) is chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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