A “supermajority” of senators—more than 75—has signed on with the National Guard Caucus to signal their opposition to DOD’s plans for unspecified cuts to the Army and Air National Guard. Led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), the Senate is pressing the Army and Air Force to work with state governors and preserve the strength of the Guard in a time of war. In a joint statement, both Senators call the recent military budget decisions demonstrative of a Guard “bias.” The Air Force has stated that ANG will be part of its proposed 57,000-personnel drawdown over the next five years.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.