US to cede global power status: Mitt Romney
Washington: The proposed massive defence budgetary cuts announced by the Obama Administration would seriously undermine the global power status of the United States, the Romney Campaign has claimed.
"Over his term in office, President Obama has proposed and instituted massive cuts to the defence budget driven by a desire to protect domestic spending rather than any conception of the national security strategy," the Romney Campaign said in a memorandum.
In early 2011, the White House commandeered USD 78 billion in defence budget efficiencies identified by Defence Secretary Robert Gates and put it towards domestic spending. Gates had expected to reinvest those dollars back into the force, it said.
Noting that in April 2011, Obama, after giving senior military leaders less than 24 hours' notice, called for an additional USD 400 billion in defence cuts.
"In that same speech, he announced the beginning of a strategy review to figure out how to bend the national security strategy to the pre-determined budget cut, putting the budget number before our strategic planning," the Romney Campaign said.
The memorandum alleged that Obama is now responsible for nearly USD 1 trillion in defence cuts over the next ten years that his own Defence Secretary has called "devastating" and that his own Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said would result in America abandoning its status as "a global power".
"These cuts result from the Budget Control Act (BCA) that President Obama signed in August 2011 and that Mitt Romney opposed precisely because it cut defence and raised the Sword of Damocles over the defence budget in the form of a USD 500 billion sequester of defence programmes," it said.
"In short, the Commander-in-Chief is holding our national security and our commitment to veterans hostage to his agenda of tax increases," the Romney campaign alleged.
"This is a President who has exploded our federal budget and national debt to unprecedented levels. And the only program he is all too willing to cut is our military.”
"His policy of unilateral disarmament has sent a message of weakness abroad, leads our friends to question our staying power, and emboldens our adversaries," it alleged.