Cuts Won't Cripple Military

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

Congress already has mandated $500 billion in cuts in Pentagon spending over the next decade, and the failure of the Congressional supercommittee to reach a deficit deal earlier this year means reductions of nearly $500 billion more are supposed to kick in next month as part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes.

It's unclear whether lawmakers and President Obama will agree on a plan to address the deficit and beat the upcoming fiscal deadline. But it's glaringly obvious that any workable agreement must include significant reductions in military spending.

That's a prospect that until recently has deeply troubled the same Republican lawmakers who engineered the debt-ceiling crisis that forced the spending cuts. Many disingenuously blame the president for the looming cuts to military programs, which are among the government programs Republicans treasure most.

In a new development that bodes well for the prospects of a budget deal, a group of House Republicans and Democrats agreed Monday that significant cuts in military spending must be part of any budget deal negotiated by the president and Congress.

In a letter to Obama and congressional leaders, the lawmakers said "substantial defense savings" can be achieved without undermining national security.

"As we transition from wartime to peacetime, and as we confront our nation's fiscal challenges, future defense budgets should reflect the conclusion of these wars and acknowledge that our modern military is able to approach conflicts utilizing fewer but more advanced resources," they wrote.

The lawmakers cited retired Adm. …