Congress needs to come up with a 10-year strategy that works toward balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, while protecting America’s national security interests, said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) Thursday. In other words, it needs to figure out how to do more with less and identify the missions that it wants US troops to conduct, said Smith, top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, during a speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. “Whatever we decide is the mission, we have to fund it,” he asserted. “We need to decide what we can afford, what’s in the best interest of our national security, and then fund it so our troops have the equipment and resources to do what we ask them to do.” (AEI webpage of event, including event video)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.