In reaction to today’s announcement of the failure of the congressional “debt super committee,” Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy and founding member of the Coalition for the Common Defense made the following statement:
“Today’s announcement by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction of its inability to reach agreement on a plan to address the nation’s mounting debt is a dereliction of duty, all-too reflective of a dysfunctional federal government that insists on denying its obvious problem: out-of-control spending.
The Joint Committee’s failure will now trigger the fall-back mechanism of last summer’s debt legislation: “sequestration.” We now face an imminent danger to our national security. Our military is already struggling to absorb $450 billion in cuts. Sequestration will add another $600 billion of mandatory cuts to our national defense. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has rightly described this level of cuts as “shooting ourselves in the head.”
The American people, by an overwhelming 82% margin in the recent POLITICO-Battleground poll, have soundly rejected further cuts to our national defense. Zero cuts have been taken from entitlements; almost half a trillion in cuts have been taken from our national defense. We will be left with a severely weakened military used to confront an increasingly assertive China, resurgent Russia, and unstable Middle East, including a nuclear Iran.
The first duty of our government under the Constitution is to ‘provide for the common defense.’ Americans are insisting that Washington hear that message. Sequestration must not be allowed to compromise our national security.”
The Coalition for the Common Defense is an alliance of like-minded individuals and organizations who believe that without provision for the “common defense,” as articulated by the Founders, the freedom that has allowed unprecedented opportunity and prosperity to flourish in this country would soon be imperiled. In this new age of budgetary cuts, the Coalition rejects the false choice between military strength and economic health contending that economic prosperity depends on a strong national defense. Through a series of events and strategic partnerships, the coalition is calling on elected officials, candidates for office and others who share our commitment to the common defense to uphold these principles. We must return the United States to sensible fiscal principles without sacrificing our national security.