Today, Rep. Mike Gallagher joined Martha MacCallum on Fox News to discuss today’s House Armed Services Committee Hearing, where Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin discussed the proposed defense budget, admitted to Rep. Gallagher that it was a goal of the U.S. to deter Putin from invading Ukraine, and stated that U.S. hard power was the only thing that could have stopped the invasion.
Watch the full interview here, or read highlights from the conversation below.
On the President’s real cut to defense spending:
“I think [Secretary Austin] needs to be honest about the fact that the President’s defense budget is a cut to conventional hard power. Chairman Milley admitted in the hearing that the 2% inflation assumptions built into the budget were obviously unrealistic. So if that’s the case, why did they rely upon those assumptions? And the problem is, if inflation continues at 7%, that $773 billion number that they’re bragging about, in terms of purchasing power parity is closer to $600 billion. So we are cutting conventional hard power precisely at the time when the tragedy underway in Ukraine is reminding us of how important it is to invest in hard power.”
On the obvious failure of integrated deterrence in Ukraine:
“The Pentagon has been going around bragging about the success of their strategy in Ukraine. They’re using it to validate the whole foundation of the national defense strategy that was released a week ago, something they’re calling ‘integrated deterrence’. The only problem with bragging about success in Ukraine is that, in fact, deterrence failed in Ukraine. And finally, Secretary Austin admitted that…we failed to deter Vladimir Putin in Ukraine because we relied solely on the threat of sanctions and we did not rely on American hard power. And indeed, Secretary Austin and Chairman Milley in that same session admitted finally that the only thing that might have actually deterred Putin is American hard power. The reason that matters is because the same is true in the Indo-Pacific with China. If we do not invest in hard power in the Pacific, the Chinese are going to launch an invasion of Taiwan, and that is going to be a disaster for the free world.”
On the U.S lag on hypersonics:
“Well, the fact is that we are certainly not ahead when it comes to hypersonics. We should be troubled not only by that fact, but by the fact that when the Chinese tested a hypersonic missile that flew all the way around the globe last year, apparently our intelligence community and senior defense officials were caught off guard. It just shows you how complacent we have gotten when it comes to the China threat.”