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Cole Statement on Defense Strategy Announcement

January 5, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Obama announced new defense strategy priorities in remarks at the Pentagon:

"These changes will make America weaker, not stronger. We are cutting defense spending and the size of our armed forces because the Obama administration is overspending in other areas, not because we have a military that is too large or overfunded.

"We still live in a very dangerous world that won't be safer with fewer American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Moreover, the reductions in the size of our ground forces will force the United States to continue its overreliance on the Reserve and the National Guard -- two forces that have been deployed continuously because our regular forces are simply too small to meet all the missions they have been asked to undertake.

"I am also concerned that these cutbacks will slow the development and acquisition of needed new systems such as a new cannon for the Army and a new aerial refueling tanker for the Air Force.

"With the long-term threat posed by China, the President is correct to place more focus on the Pacific. However, Iran's recent provocative words and actions regarding the Straits of Hormuz are just one example of the need to maintain global capabilities."