AOL Defense published an op-ed by Gen. Gard and yours truly on the House version of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310), which passed the House last Friday by a vote of 299-120. Here’s our intro:
There is broad bipartisan agreement that few national security issues are as critical as how to deal with America’s crippling debt. This means we should spend scarce dollars on the weapons we need for current threats and not on programs with diminishing strategic relevance.
Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, however, apparently are still stuck in the Cold War.
Last week the House passed an annual bill authorizing spending on US national defense activities that includes hundreds of millions of dollars in unneeded funding for nuclear weapons programs that US military leaders did not ask for and House appropriators do not support. In addition, the legislation includes provisions that would restrict and perhaps even block the Pentagon’s ability to implement the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) if Congress doesn’t approve this unnecessary spending.
The op-ed only begins to scratch the surface of the madness. Republicans pulled out all the partisan stops in an effort to ensure that US nuclear posture remains as closely tethered to its Cold War roots as possible. In fact, their display was so unhinged at times in Committee and on the floor it was almost entertaining – if only US national security didn’t hang in the balance.