The United States’ military does not have everything it needs to use military options against North Korea because of budgetary constraints, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said Monday.
“We don’t have everything that we need because we have cut the military budget 20 percent over the last few years,” Thornberry told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“We still have incredible military power, and we can do a lot in North Asia, as well as around the world, but the point is we have to increase our presence there and rebuild our military, and that’s going to take more money and unfortunately some time.”
Last week, Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee the crisis with North Korea is at the worst point he has ever seen, and said he lacks critical equipment, including the attack submarines he needs. Further, he said he has no capable defense against the thousands of artillery pieces North Korea has assembled near the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea.
Thornberry said he appreciates Harris being forthright about the deficiencies, and Monday night, senators will debate and vote on more sanctions in hopes of bringing the North Korea situation under control.
“It tightens sanctions not only against North Korea but against those people who do business with North Korea,” Thornberry said. “Obviously the primary target there is China. We need to stay close with our key allies like Japan and South Korea, but we also need to encourage China to rein this guy in.”
China, he continued, does not want more U.S. ships and equipment close to its border, “and so the best way to alleviate that situation is for China to get the leader of North Korea to take a different path . . . in order to convince China of that, we have got to make this military option more credible.”
China also does not want economic instability in North Korea, or an unstable nuclear armed North Koreaa, Thornberry said.
“Those missiles from North Korea can go all sorts of different directions,” he said. “China has more influence than anybody else. What I think the president is trying to do is get them to use that influence to take north Korea down a different path.”
Source: News Max