[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Obama’s Defense Strategy: McKeon Labels it ‘Lead from Behind’ | 01-05-2012
Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 8
1858 - Butterfield Overland Mail stage makes first trek through SCV [story]

Watch President Barack Obama’s press conference on the Defense Strategic Review => http://scvtv.com/html/obama010512btv.html (with transcript)


[Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon] – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, released the following statement Thursday regarding the President’s new defense strategy:

U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon

“This is a lead from behind strategy for a left-behind America. The President has packaged our retreat from the world in the guise of a new strategy to mask his divestment of our military and national defense. This strategy ensures American decline in exchange for more failed domestic programs. In order to justify massive cuts to our military, he has revoked the guarantee that America will support our allies, defend our interests, and defy our opponents. The President must understand that the world has always had, and will always have a leader. As America steps back, someone else will step forward.

“An honest and valid strategy for national defense can’t be founded on the premise that we must do more with less, or even less with less. Rather you proceed from a clear articulation of the full scope of the threats you face and the commitments you have. You then resource a strategy required to defeat those threats decisively. One does not mask insufficient resources with a fuzzy world view and a strategy founded on hope and a hollow force. ”


HASC: Key Questions Raised by President’s New Defense Strategy

Today, the Department of Defense released new strategic guidance, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.” This guidance is the culmination of an internal review directed by the President in April, 2011 following his direction to cut at least $400 billion from the military over the next 12 years. While cuts of this magnitude were always on the President’s agenda, and would likely have been reflected in his FY13 budget submission, the Budget Control Act of 2011 enacted defense cuts proposed by the President. The strategic guidance released today provides the Administration’s vision for implementation of these cuts.

Unfortunately, the Administration’s framework for implementation fails to learn from the lessons of past, is a significant departure from the strategy embraced by previous administrations – both Republican and Democratic, and fails to acknowledge the perilous global security environment, which may be the most dangerous we have witnessed in a generation.

Embraces the False Proposition that the Deficit Problem can be Solved on the Backs of the Military. It is undeniably a national imperative to reduce the deficit. But the only federal spending the President appears willing to reduce is that for our military. We do not have to accept greater national security risk to reduce the deficit. It is not, as the document puts it, a “national security imperative” to reduce the deficit “through a lower level of defense spending.”

Ignores our Continued Commitment of Forces in Afghanistan. The strategy fails to acknowledge the nearly 100,000 forces who continue to fight in Afghanistan or the impact these austerity measures will have on their ability to successfully complete their mission, return home safely, and be reset. Instead, the President appears fixated on ending our mission to save money. In addition, the Administration has yet to examine how “…this strategy will influence existing campaign and contingency plans.” Rather, the President appears willing to embrace a strategy with an undetermined level of strategic and military risk.

Repeats the Mistakes of the Past. The United States did not choose the time and place of 9/11 attacks. We will not have the luxury of choosing a future conflict, but we do have the ability to prepare for the possibility – if we choose. The military responded admirably in 2001, but our force was ill prepared and too small. The last ten years of war have taught us this lesson. After every major conflict in the last century, the United States has cut its military, only to have to painstakingly rebuild it the next time our security is threatened. Sadly, this strategy repeats the mistakes of the past. The guidance states, “…U.S. forces will no longer be sized to conduct large-scale, prolonged stability operations,” despite the fact that our mission in Afghanistan is not over and that history has taught us this is a perilous course – expensive in both lives and treasure.

Major Departure from Two War Strategy. This strategy appears to walk away from the long standing commitment – across both Republican and Democratic Administrations — to size the force to respond to two near-simultaneous major contingency operations. The guidance states, “Even when U.S. forces are committed to a large-scale operation in one region, they will be capable of denying the objectives of – or imposing unacceptable costs on – an opportunistic aggressor in a second region.” This appears to differ significantly from the previous defense strategy, most recently released by this Administration as part of the February 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, which stated, “…U.S. military forces must plan and prepare to prevail in a broad range of operations that may occur in multiple theaters in overlapping time frames. This includes maintaining the ability to prevail against two capable nation-state aggressors…”

Anti-access & the Asia Pacific. The ability to ensure U.S. dominance in power projection is a priority that spans domains and regions, but is particularly critical in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Nevertheless, this guidance does not appear to prioritize capabilities to overcome anti-access/area denial challenges; rather, it merely states that Department of Defense “will invest as required.” This is concerning, particularly in light of the strategy’s vision for a reduced global posture, which helps to ensure our ability to project power. While the strategy plans to rebalance forces toward the Asia Pacific, it provides no commitment to provide additional capabilities to this under-resourced region. Rather, the shift toward Asia appears to come at the expense other regions, most notably the Middle East. This is a dangerous shift.

Reduction in Nuclear Deterrent. The current security environment has unprecedented levels of proliferation, from Iran to North Korea, and with the very real possibility of proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to non-state actors. The strategy does not make clear how a smaller nuclear force, in terms of both numbers and role in U.S. strategy, will provide a successful deterrence. The strategy is also silent on the importance and planned investments in modernization, which is key to maintaining a credible deterrent that can be deployed forward.

Retreat from U.S. Global Force Posture. The strategy abandons a half a century of U.S. global force presence, on the seas and at the invitation of our allies, that has been the guarantee of global security and has ensured continued U.S. economic supremacy. This forward presence also forms the underpinning of the United States’ ability to project power. The strategy fails to provide alternatives to mitigate the risk created by the vacuum, other than unidentified “creative solutions” that the guidance acknowledges will be required.

Enduring Risk for the Industrial Base. By embracing “reversibility” as a key part of the decisions that resulted in this strategic guidance, the Administration openly acknowledges that it is assuming greater risk. This includes not only strategic and military risk, but risk for the industrial base. The only mitigation provided within this guidance is that “the Department will make every effort to maintain an adequate industrial base and our investment in science and technology.” It is clear that the cuts will come at the expense of not only today’s military, but the future force. The lack of sustained investment will result in the shuttering of elements of the industrial base and the divesture of capabilities that may not be reversible in time.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

No Comments

    SCV NewsBreak
    Related Content
    Thursday, Oct 8, 2015
    Salvation Coming to Upper Bouquet Canyon
    Gov. Jerry Brown signed legisation Thursday that would begin to bring water back to the residents of Bouquet Canyon.
    Thursday, Oct 8, 2015
    Blotter: Armed Robbery, Battery, Domestic Violence in Valencia
    Robbery is a crime “against the person” and a frightening experience. It can result in injury or even death to the victim. It is important to remember, in protecting your business from robbery, to take preventive measures and make it obvious that those measures have been taken.
    Thursday, Oct 8, 2015
    Wanted: Info Leading to Capture of Truck Thieves
    If you recognize the pictured individuals, please contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station.
    Follow Us @scvtv20

    Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
    On October 6, 2015, the Board of Supervisors selected Sachi A. Hamai as the candidate for the position of Chief Executive Officer, and instructed the Mayor to negotiate an annual salary and other contractual provisions, and to return to the Board on October 13, 2015, for final action.
    Antonovich Motion Would Finalize Selection of County CEO
    Santa Clarita City Council agenda for Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015.
    Council Tuesday: Valencia Water Franchise, Via Princessa Extension, more
    Two award-winning artists are featured in the “Two for the Road” art exhibition at Fast Frame Valencia this month.
    Meet 2 Local Artists Saturday in Valencia
    On Saturday, Santa Clarita’s Democratic Alliance for Action will recognize individuals who are fighting to turn the SCV from red to blue.
    Oct. 10: SCV Democrats to Bestow Awards
    More than 50 employees of Eternal Valley Memorial Park Mortuary in Newhall and local residents have joined as Team Dignity LA to raise funds for critical ADA type 1 and type 2 diabetes research, education programs and advocacy programs.
    Eternal Valley Employees Team Up to Fight Diabetes
    Whole Foods Market is recalling cheese sold in all stores nationwide that came from its supplier because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
    Whole Foods Recalls Papillon Organic Roquefort Cheese
    The county plans to extend the lease term for seven years and increase the office space currently occupied by the Department of Public Health located at 26415 Carl Boyer Dr., Santa Clarita by an additional 1,659 sq ft and 6 on-site parking spaces, for a total of 7,253 sq ft of office space and 34 on-site parking spaces.
    County Public Health Dept. to Expand at Centre Pointe
    Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Santa Clarita Sheriff's are seeking the community's help in car theft case. Plus, the Hart District honored employees during meeting. Also, your local weather report. Click the link to see these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
    SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, October 8, 2015
    Three beautiful Santa Clarita Valley homes will be decked out in true holiday splendor during Henry Mayo’s 35th annual Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 5
    Henry Mayo Helpers Prepping for Dec. 5 Home Tour
    October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. See what we're doing this month to help raise awareness in our community.
    Domestic Violence Center News: Learn Legal Rights, Rent a Santa, more
    Give yourself over to absolute pleasure on Friday, Oct. 30, as you experience the ultimate Time Warp movie, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," at Frank-N-Furter’s Halloween Ball, held in the Spiegeltent at Wolf Creek Brewery in Valencia’s Rye Canyon.
    REP to Host ‘Rocky Horror’ Viewing, Costume Contest at Brewhouse
    Nineteen classified employees were honored as the employees of the year Wednesday night at the William S. Hart Union High School District’s governing board meeting.
    Hart District Honors Classified Employees of Year
    Here's a roundup of items the Hart School Board tackled at its meeting Wednesday.
    Hart Board: CHS Auditorium Project, VHS Science Lab, SV Shade Structures, more
    Reese Field will serve as center stage for a national powerhouse showdown on Saturday as the men’s and women’s soccer teams from The Master’s College and Vanguard University will compete in matches that bear major postseason implications.
    Masters And Vanguard Go Head-to-Head On Saturday
    In addition to building nearly 100 WaterSense labeled homes in 2014, KB Home also constructed model homes in California featuring innovative water-efficient products, along with graywater recycling systems that provide water for toilet-flushing or landscape irrigation.
    EPA Recognizes Local Homebuilder, Others for Promoting Water Efficiency
    The gift includes both a substantial monetary contribution to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ capital campaign as well as key artifacts from Shirley Temple Black’s indelible early career. To recognize this gift and honor the star’s legendary childhood contribution to entertainment, the Academy Museum’s education center will be named The Shirley Temple Education Studio.
    Family of Shirley Temple Donates $5 Mil. in Cash and Memorabilia for Academy Museum
    Assemblyman Scott Wilk has honored D’Wilfri DanceArt and Entertainment as the 38th Assembly District Small Business of the Month.
    Wilk Names D’Wilfri Dance Studio Business of Month
    Gov. Jerry Brown signed legisation Thursday that would begin to bring water back to the residents of Bouquet Canyon.
    Salvation Coming to Upper Bouquet Canyon
    Robbery is a crime “against the person” and a frightening experience. It can result in injury or even death to the victim. It is important to remember, in protecting your business from robbery, to take preventive measures and make it obvious that those measures have been taken.
    Blotter: Armed Robbery, Battery, Domestic Violence in Valencia
    If you recognize the pictured individuals, please contact the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station.
    Wanted: Info Leading to Capture of Truck Thieves
    One of the great popular successes of recent American theatre history, this ingeniously constructed play offers a rare and skillful blending of two priceless theatrical ingredients —gasp-inducing thrills and spontaneous laughter.
    ‘Deathtrap’ Opens Nov. 13 at REP Theater
    Today Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 949, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), to classify competition cheer as a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) sport beginning in the 2017-18 school year.
    Cheerleading Added To CIF Competitive Sports List By 2017-18
    The College of the Canyons women's golf team topped the leaderboard with a first place finish at Western State Conference (WSC) Tourney No. 4, at San Dimas Golf Course on Monday.
    Canyons Outlasts Citrus For Second WSC Tourney Win
    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office and 13 CubeSats lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 Oct. 8 at 5:49 a.m. PDT.
    Spy Satellite, CubeSats Launch from Vandenberg