Sens. Isakson and Perdue Condemn President’s Defense Cuts

In a press release sent out by Senator Johnny Isakson’s office on Wednesday, both Senators Isakson and Perdue called upon the president to reverse the recent spending cuts to the U.S. Army’s budget. The cuts come as a part of the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget and would provide for and “Army end strength number” of 460,000 troops, down from the 2014 peak of 566,000. The Army budget cut of $1.4 billion would affect several army bases across the nation and in Georgia. Both senators are urging actions to reverse these cuts in order for the Army to maintain the resources necessary to confront the growing threats that the U.S. faces.

Describing the damage that this reduction in spending could cause at a time where we face great uncertainty, Senator Isakson had this to say:

“To continue to shrink our fighting force is a dangerous and compromising position to be in at a time of growing threats worldwide,” said Senator Isakson. “Instead, we should be strengthening our military to send a clear signal to the rest of the world that America has no intention of standing down in the fight against terrorism worldwide. I will continue to fight to see to it that we preserve every soldier in Georgia that we can.”

Senator David Perdue also spoke out:

“Growing terrorist threats combined with traditional power rivalries have created unprecedented demand on our military,” said Senator Perdue. “Against the advice of our military leaders, President Obama has chosen to reduce the size of our military over the past seven years. As we see growing aggression from Russia and China, we need to ensure that our forces are sufficient in size and ready for any confrontation that may arise. While troop reductions are reversible, it takes time to build that capability back up—time we may not have during a modern conflict.”

The cuts were first announced by the DoD in July of 2015, prompting Senator Isakson to begin demanding answers from top Pentagon officials. The cuts include a net loss of 950 soldiers from Ft. Stewart in Hinesville, GA and a net loss of 3,400 soldiers from Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA.

Last week, both Georgian senators along with other members of the Georgia delegation (Reps. Austin Scott and Sanford Bishop) received a briefing on how these cuts would lead to restructuring in Georgia from General Joseph Anderson, the Army’s deputy chief of staff. In the briefing, it was described that the cuts come as a result of internal military value analysis within the Army and are part of a larger goal to decrease the current level of 490,000 troops down to an end goal of 450,000 by the end of 2017.

Senators Isakson and Perdue have both expressed concern over the fact that the aforementioned analysis took place prior to the U.S.’s expanded involvement in the fight against ISIL, and they have vowed that they will continue fighting on this issue and pushing for answers from the administration.

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Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Sen. Isakson: We should be increasing the size of our fighting force? At a time where conventional warfighting tactics are no longer applicable to the unique threats faced from non-state actors? Unless you think we should be launching a full-scale invasion of Syria (a horrible idea for an inordinately large number of reasons), why in God’s name do we need more troops? The reduction in our “fighting force” isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a recognition that our military’s need for large numbers of soldiers and equipment are less now than they wrere due to advancements in technology and changes… Read more »

Jack Fitz
Jack Fitz

Very few ever question the hypocrisy spewed out by these two because they have an R next to their names. Why does anyone think the correlation between national safety and military spending is effectively linear? When corporations cut spending (jobs) to increase efficiency, its viewed by the market as a positive. But when you touch military spending, its all of this HUGE risk to our national security. Also (while I’m on my soapbox), how does no one ever see the straight disconnect between military spending and healthcare spending? Perdue and Isakson will go hat in hand to the coffers to… Read more »

DAinGA
DAinGA

Typical small government GOP folks. We are against a big government, except when it will cost us votes, in which case we are decidedly for it. These Senators (and many GOP reps) are also mad that cotton farmers can get more government subsidies (see today’s Daily Jolt in the AJC for more). Oye.

gcp
gcp

Nothing new here. Chambliss, Vinson, Richard Russell were all big on military spending in Ga. and nationally. Sam Nunn was better than most on appropriate military spending. The problem for the average voter/taxpayer is trying to determine what’s needed and what is waste. As for the Army, we should be under 500,000 total manpower. The question is how far under 500 should we be. Another question mark in Ga. is Lockheed. While they put out a lot of good product they also gave us some junk. Fault congress partially here because they fund much of Lockheed. As one who usually… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

To be fair, gcp, we’ll likely need to increase military spending once President Trump declares war on everyone or President Cruz decides to start carpet bombing entire cities.

gcp
gcp

Trumpet could not tell the difference between a two star general and a three star general. As for Burnie, his foreign policy changes from one debate to the next.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Before we reduce the domestic troops we should reduce or eliminate most of the ones serving overseas in defense of other countries who need to supply their own. Let LG and Samsung pay to defend South Korea. The near 30K troops we have there serve only as a tripwire to ensure we would be as committed as the pig is to the BBQ in the event of a full scale invasion from the North. With Seoul’s proximity to the border I’m not sure we could put enough troops there to avoid its capture or destruction. The legacy WWII commitments to… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the post’s title is misleading?

Wasn’t the size of the defense budget determined by a GOP Congress in 2011? Isn’t the Pentagon an authority on DoD resource allocation, and didn’t it recently indicate another BRAC would best serve military preparedness?

Prior comments have identified various Senatorial hypocrisies. Here’s another. Johnny voted for the defense budget cuts he now condemns.

A more descriptive headline would be:

Isakson and Perdue Condemn GOP Defense Cuts because the Senators know better than the Pentagon what the Pentagon needs.

Calypso
Calypso

“Isakson and Perdue Condemn GOP Defense Cuts because the Senators know better than the Pentagon what the Pentagon needs.”

Sadly, that’s the case all too often, especially when it comes to pet weapons manufacturers and their contracts.

Mike
Mike

@davebearse. Man that’s cold, accurate but cold. Nice post.