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Defending America Should Take Priority

The President's FY 2013 budget gets its priorities all wrong. A new paper by Baker Spring from the Heritage Foundation shows that by slashing the defense budget, Obama is making a clear statement- defense is our last priority. Baker reveals an unfortunate truth: defense will become the lowest budget priority in just 5 years. By 2017, entitlements, other domestic spending, and even interest on the debt, will all be greater than the amount we spend on defense. This is unacceptable and will only be made worse by sequestration.

The proposed budget undermines the U.S. military and its ability to keep security commitments with allies across the world. Nuclear and conventional forces and modernization funds are all cut by this budget. These cuts are not just slowing the growth of spending, but are actually cutting our military to historic lows. This budget will embolden our enemies and frighten our allies, making the world more unstable.

Baker also lays bare the misleading and politically-driven assertions the President has made regarding these cuts. The President has tried to say that these cuts are driven by a strategy and are actually giving us a more "agile" force. These statements are simply untrue. The budget determined the strategy, not the other way around. Even if the strategy did come first, fewer ships, transport planes, and fighter squadrons do not make us more agile. Instead of military strategy, political strategy is driving these cuts. Obama made it clear in his State of the Union Address that in his mind we only have two choices: raise taxes or "keep our investments in everything else like... a strong military."

Congress must act to defer and ultimately replace the sequestration cuts and then work to maintain the size of our military and increase funds for much needed modernizations. When our security and the stability of the world is at stake, we can't play political games by making defense our last priority.

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