Driven by Strategy

President Obama hammered Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during Monday night’s presidential debate for championing a budget plan that includes “$2 trillion on military spending that our military is not asking for.” The nation cannot afford such wasteful spending at a time of fiscal austerity, he said. At the same time, Obama said his defense budget is “driven by strategy” and maintains a strong military while positioning the nation “so we can start rebuilding America.” But Romney said that approach is not sound. “Our Air Force is older and smaller than at any time since it was founded in 1947,” for example, he said during the Oct. 22 foreign policy debate in Boca Raton, Fla. Accordingly, “we’ve got to strengthen our military long-term,” he said, adding, “I will not cut our military budget.” Romney said his budget plan would “cut about 5 percent of the discretionary budget, excluding military,” and lead to “a balanced budget within eight to 10 years.” Both he and Obama came out against budget sequestration. “I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars,” asserted Romney. Sequestration “will not happen,” stated Obama. (Debate transcript)