With the protracted campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan either already complete or winding down, 25 years of sustained, high-tempo military activity will soon come to a close. Frankly, our all-volunteer joint force, which has given so much to the nation, is tired. The force—its platforms, equipment, and personnel, including families—needs time to recover, reset, reconstitute, and prepare for future challenges.
This period of reconstitution and transition will be made more challenging due to the fiscal circumstances in which we now find ourselves. President Barack Obama has developed a ten-year plan to bring our growing deficits under control and to renew our economy. In preparing and outlining this plan, the President has emphasized the inextricable connection between our national security and our economy, and the fact that our economic prosperity provides the foundation for all elements of our national power—including the military. The President’s plan therefore calls for spending cuts across all national programs, and the Department of Defense must and will contribute its fair share.