“Through steady cuts to the defense budget, the message we have sent to the troops is clear: You are not our top priority. “…


By Charles Hoskinson

THE DEFENSE BUDGET IS DRIVING THE WEEK as SAC takes up its fiscal 2012 spending bill, opponents of deep cuts step up their lobbying campaign and Panetta meets with defense industry leaders for the first time.

SAC-D MARKS UP THE BILL TUESDAY, and the full committee gets it Thursday. Analysts will be watching to see how much of the $26 billion cut off Obama’s base budget request will be allocated to operations and maintenance, procurement and research and development.

MEANWHILE, HASC CHAIRMAN MCKEON will speak today at 10:30 a.m. at AEI on “Defending America and the Quest for Peace,” in which he’ll continue to make the argument against deeper defense cuts. Here’s a preview: “Peace never comes to powers that lie dormant and withdrawn … the only way to preserve peace is to proliferate power. … Through steady cuts to the defense budget, the message we have sent to the troops is clear: You are not our top priority. … Guidance from the White House is directing [military] cuts larger than what the Defense Department is prepared to absorb. … For the first time in their history, Beijing believes they can achieve military parity with the United States. … It’s time to focus our fiscal restraint on the driver of our debt, not the protector of our prosperity.”

LEADERS OF THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION are expected to deliver a similar message when they meet with Panetta on Tuesday.

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