Sequestration law requires the defense budget to absorb 50 per- cent of a nearly $1 trillion budget cut over a 10-year period. What is your view of that allocation and the share of future budget cuts that should be taken from defense? As Commander-in-Chief, I would ensure that the United States military is the best-trained, best- equipped and best-supported fight- ing force in the world. This requires us to resource our military at a level that ensures we can defeat any threat to our vital interests. Sequestration has been damaging

to our force and must be eliminated. The budget roller coaster imposed

by a Republican Congress has under- mined our security, our ability to plan for the future and our investment in our people and future capabilities. What the Department of Defense needs — and deserves — is a stable and predictable defense budget set according to strategic need rather than arbitrary budget caps. I will put a priority on reaching a sustainable budget deal that balances our need for adequate defense spending with key domestic priorities. I support lift- ing the Budget Control Act caps for defense and non-defense spending. I will commit to a smart, strategic, and sustainable spending plan that main- tains a truly unrivaled joint force.

50 MILITARY OFFICER OCTOBER 2016 At the same time, the American

people deserve a defense program that demonstrates good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. As President, I will prioritize smart reforms to both defense and non-defense spending. Now more than ever, the country can- not afford to waste precious defense dollars on outdated systems, process- es, or programs that poorly serve our men and women in uniform.

In the past, large post-war force reductions have left insufficient forces to meet the next unex- pected contingency. Considering the extraordinary stresses on our military over the past 15 years of war and continuing threats from ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and oth- ers, what force levels (relative to current forces) do you believe are needed to be prepared for poten- tial future contingencies? The All-Volunteer Force has been stressed by 14 years of continuous combat and is endeavoring to rebuild and reset, while facing growing in- stability and complexity around the world. As Commander-in-Chief, I will ensure our military is: • Ready and Agile: The U.S. military must be trained, equipped, and led to operate on short-notice across all domains. We must recruit and retain the best talent while investing in military readiness, because we can-

not send our men and women into danger unprepared. • The World’s Leader in Innovation: Our adversaries have increasing ac- cess to advanced technology and a demonstrated willingness to employ a mix of approaches that challenge us. We must invest in research and development, keep the defense in- dustrial base vibrant, and develop a military culture that nurtures experi- mentation and innovative approach- es. We need a military that’s built for threats over the horizon — not fighting old wars or keeping defense contractors happy. • Enabling Smart Power: Our mili- tary and diplomacy efforts should fit hand-in-glove. America is most effec- tive when our military, ambassadors, intelligence professionals, and devel- opment experts operate together and work closely with allies and partners. A President has a sacred responsibil- ity to send our troops into battle only if we absolutely must, and only with a clear and well-thought-out strategy. That is why we must first embrace all of the tools of American power, in- cluding diplomacy and development, as it is often the only way to avoid a conflict that could end up exacting a much greater cost. • Resourced for Success: Maintain- ing the best military in the world takes a dedicated investment, but we should be much smarter in our defense spending. Every dollar in defense must contribute to the safety and success of our service mem- bers, not to perpetuate wasteful practices that prop-up industrial-age approaches. That is why I will ad- vocate for budget reform measures grounded in permanently ending the damaging sequester while making smart reforms in both defense and non-defense spending. I also recognize that military fam-

ily readiness is a critical part of total force readi- [CONTINUES ON PAGE 72]


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