Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

Under the terms of the debt-ceiling deal that passed earlier this week, there’s a real possibility of significant cuts to the defense budget, which cuts may be untethered to the the country’s actual national-security requirements. At the same time, China’s military is expanding at a prodigious rate, Russia is making aggressive territorial claims to the Arctic and other disputed regions, the Iranian nuclear program is on the verge of producing its first weapon, North Korea’s belligerence is growing, the stability of Afghanistan and certain portions of Iraq is in question, and al-Qaeda continues to wage war on the U.S.

As Commander-in-Chief, charged with protecting America’s national security interests, what is the largest cut to the nation’s defense budget you’d accept before exercising a veto?

If you approved, say, a $20 billion dollar cut to the defense budget, what would be your defense funding priorities? Would the cuts be across the board or would they be targeted? If the latter, what, specifically, would be targeted and how much would be cut?

Given that  five months ago you said that U.S. military involvement in Libya would take “days, not weeks,” will funding for that operation be terminated? 

If the budget cuts are not across the board, which service branches will see the greatest cuts and why?

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