Inhofe: Intelligence cuts could lead to failure
Inhofe delivered an opening statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that expressed concern about the effects of sequestration on the government, in particular, the intelligence community. Inhofe told Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that the budget reductions could cause the U.S. to know less about the nature of worldwide threats to national security.
"Director Clapper, when asked about the effects of sequestration on the intelligence community, you stated 'We're cutting real capability and accepting greater risk,'" Inhofe said. "For intelligence, this is not quite like shorter hours for public parks or longer lines at the airports. For intelligence, it's insidious. The capability we cut out today you won't know about that, you won't notice it. The public won't notice it. You'll notice it only when we have a failure. And that's exactly what I'm concerned about. Not only will our military be less prepared to deal with growing threats around the world, we'll know less and less about the true nature of these threats as the intelligence community loses capability. We're going down a foolhardy and dangerous path. It's out of touch with reality and it's making Americans less safe."
Inhofe called upon the committee witnesses to provide a candid assessment of the increasing threats to national security with an explanation about how the budget cuts will impact their ability to understand and assess security threats.
Inhofe said that while President Barack Obama said that the tide of war was receding, the increasing threats in Iran, the Middle East, North Africa and on the Korean Peninsula, make it hard to take such a statement seriously.
"What this all comes down to is risk," Inhofe said. "As the challenges to our security and interests around the world are becoming more dangerous and more complex, we're on track to cut over a trillion dollars from our national security budget. Contrary to the best wishes of some, the risks to our security are growing, not decreasing. We ignore this harsh reality at our own peril."