Lt. Col. Oliver North says the supercommittee’s failure to reach agreement on debt reduction has put the nation’s armed forces in serious trouble, because resulting Defense budget cuts will reduce the military’s capability “in the midst of war.” North also said on Fox News Tuesday following the Republican debate that the military’s financial hit will be higher than numbers mentioned.
“I do believe it, because it’s $1.1 trillion — that’s just not the $650 billion that people keep talking about,” North told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “And there is a real danger from Iran, North Korea, China. Some of that was addressed in the debate this evening.
“We’ve never before disarmed in the midst of a war — and the problem is this president said he will veto any measure that would reverse it — it’s the largest defense cut in military history and it will yield us the smallest military force since before World War II,” North said. “We are looking at cuts in military and DOD civilian personnel — military construction cuts, which will leave unfinished buildings and bases, and of course weapons systems like ships that won’t get finished.
“You can’t build and sail three quarters of a ship — you can’t build enough F-35 drone strike fighters — do research and development on everything from new anti-aircraft to new air-ground missiles for the new predators and reapers, and the next generation of these so-called drones,” North continued. “And you can’t upgrade our M1 tanks or build ground combat vehicles — it goes on and on — and what they have done is basically left us in harm’s way.”
MacCallum noted that during the debate, presidential hopeful Rick Perry called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta because he would allow the military cuts to kick in.
“Well, he’s not the first one to suggest that — in fact, there are other people who are talking about that inside of the five-sided wastebasket called the Pentagon,” North said. “There is a lot of concern that this secretary of defense ought to resign to show his support for the military that he has. He’s in the national command authority — he knows how devastating this is — those are words he used: ‘catastrophic.’
“And what some are suggesting is there’s a way to spread that $650 billion in additional cuts over the rest of the budget — it will never get through the Senate, and we know it,” he said. “Unfortunately these guys in the building behind me [the Capitol] have forgotten the words ‘provide for the common defense’ are in our Constitution — but the word ‘entitlement’ is not.”
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