Washington DC—With the debt reduction super committee holding its first public meeting today, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, once again underscored the national importance of the committee finding consensus and avoiding any additional cuts to the defense budget.  Failure to reach an agreement would trigger $600 billion in cuts to U.S. national security.

“The defense budget has already taken a major hit,” said Congressman Hunter, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  “Now, after already shouldering over a half trillion in cuts over the next ten years, the military services could face another $600 billion in cuts.  This would be a nightmare scenario that must be avoided at all costs. 

“Defense dollars provide American security, give our troops better protection and a strategic advantage, and create jobs.  Hollowing out the military—for the sake of appeasing partisan interests in the short-term—is a terrible move with real consequences.   

“The super committee is in a position to either improve our budget situation, by recommending cuts and reforms where they are actually needed, or devastate the military force structure against the backdrop of emerging threats and combat operations in Afghanistan.  The right course of action is to confront the real cost-drivers in the budget and refrain from any more arbitrary cuts to the defense budget.”

*Military Force Structure 1990 to Today

Army Brigades in 1990: 76 – Army Brigades Today: 45

Navy Ships in 1990: 546 – Navy Ships Today: 288

USAF Fighter Squadrons in 1990: 82 – USAF Fighter Squadrons Today: 39

Strategic Bombers in 1990: 360 – Strategic Bombers Today: 154