August 28, 2014

Sen. Fischer worries about proposed military cuts (AUDIO)

Sen. Deb Fischer expresses concern about proposed cuts to the military.

Fischer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says the committee will be carefully reviewing the budget cuts proposed this week by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

“So, these defense cuts do concern me and I believe they should concern all of us,” Fischer tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.

The Defense Secretary says the country will move to a smaller, high-tech military, with a smaller force. Hagel, a former U.S. Senator from Nebraska, outlined the Pentagon’s proposal budget for fiscal 2015 during a speech earlier this week.

Hagel insisted that the smaller, modern military would sustain adequate readiness. Hagel acknowledged the proposal would cause Congress to make politically difficult choices, such as another round of military base closures beginning in 2017.

Among the proposed cuts, the Air Force would lose the A-10 Warthog, a number of Navy cruisers, and an end to the Littoral Combat Ship program.

The Army would shrink to 450,000 troops, much smaller than the 570,000 peak at the height of the Iraq War and the smallest troop level since World War II.

Fischer says the country must maintain a military can fight a two-front war.

“With the cuts that are being proposed now, I don’t believe that we can do that.”

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:40]