MILITARY EXPERTS RESPOND TO SEC. HAGEL’S FY15 BUDGET PREVIEW
Washington DC – February 27, 2014 – Press Release – Recently, Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, provided an extensive preview of the Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request.
The following retired military leaders offered these responses to the preview:
“Several components of the budget proposal that Secretary Hagel outlined will continue to have a negative impact on our national security by ballooning our national debt, while contributing little to our national security. Retaining unnecessary programs designed to counter a monolithic Cold War enemy is not only wasteful but also counter-productive,” said Lt. General (USA ret.) Robert Gard. “Our strategy must address 21st century threats to our security; and our strategy must inform spending, not lobbyists who contribute generously to political campaigns or Congressional pork to maintain jobs related to outmoded military programs. Moving forward, both our strategy and our spending need to be smarter, as we face threats that are continuously evolving.”
Gen. Gard served a distinguished 31-year career including combat in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He is the former president of National Defense University and is the chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
“Several defense officials, past and present, have recognized that the nation’s economic condition is the greatest threat to national security,” said Brig. General (USA ret.) John Johns. “With that in mind, the proposed defense budget reflects the current National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy, both of which acknowledge the limits of military force in the modern world. Both strategies are well-thought-out and provide the best approach to our national security. Congress should resist the lobbyists and approve the proposed budget.”
Gen. Johns is a retired combat officer with 26 years of military service and previously served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and National Security Strategy professor at National Defense University. He serves of the National Advisory Board for Council for a Livable World.
“Dollars spent is not the measure of merit for our security any more than it is for our health care system,” said Col. (USAF ret.) Richard Klass. “The measure of merit is whether our spending matches our strategy and the current and future threats. Clearly there are reductions, such as outmoded nuclear systems and unneeded bases, whose reduction would increase our security by strengthening our fiscal integrity.”
Col. Klass is a retired Air Force officer who flew more than 200 missions over Vietnam and served in the Executive Office of the President as a White House fellow. He serves on the Board of Directors for Council for a Livable World.
These experts and others are available to further comment and guest bookings by contacting James Lewis at 202.546.0795 X2113.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org