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31 days -- the fiscal cliff the threat of sequestration largely being ignored.
Automatic spending cuts to the tune of one point two trillion over ten years half of those cuts coming from our defense budget.
Joining me now to discuss the impact on our military and national security.
We're joined by admiral James Lyons retired commander of the US specifically -- -- great to have you back with us your thoughts on the impact of sequestration.
It goes into effect here.
Well in the words of the secretary of defense Leon Panetta this will be a disaster.
What -- -- administration is doing is unilaterally.
Reducing the military capability of our forces.
And this is a at a time when we have China.
With its massive force expansion.
A world capable force projection capability.
We have proved them -- modernizing.
The Russian forces.
We still have the gyrating improbable totally -- resolve.
North career is always a flash point.
And look at the Middle East.
Any -- far from being settled there.
And let me take the navy.
As an example which will be -- -- of the other forces.
-- but it will do to the navy.
It will take the navy and drive it down to the smallest force it has had since -- -- -- World War I.
Not World War II Lou World War I you know we're 200 in Oregon Iraq warning I'm sorry -- when when governor Romney said that.
Part of that out -- President Obama and the debate.
I he was your money -- we have horses -- banner -- to.
He seemed to make light of that how how.
Is it can you give us a sense of the impact well I think that the president's.
Pony shows his inexperience -- military matters.
And in this particular case -- -- going down to 220 ships and put that number in perspective.
I had 255.
Ships under my command in the Pacific fleet.
20% of those 220 ships will be the littoral combat ships which basically have no offensive or defense -- capability.
We can't we are we going to be challenged where we show weakness and let me give you an example just today China.
Effective 1 January.
They have author is there paramilitary.
Naval forces and their police.
The stop all vessels in -- South China Sea.
-- they can -- it'd be there illegally.
If they haven't requested permission.
This must be rejected and the most strongest terms.
This hits the core capability.
Of international maritime law.
On freedom of -- at transit and freedom of navigation rights.
Several we have not heard from the State Department or the white house on that challenge.
I do wanna turn to one statement by however though you mentioned Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
He said the United States should have what he called an enduring presence in Afghanistan.
To pursue the counter terrorism effort a long war that has become the fashion of the last two administrations.
Your thoughts as we wrap up here.
Let me tell you about.
The aerial warfare counter insurgency.
Want it is in effect.
We are trading.
Brave military lives.
With the restricted.
Rules of engagement.
In the whole of winning the hearts and minds of the tribal society.
This is crazy.
You -- first responsibility.
Is to the protection and safety of your own men and women.
Admiral terrific tribute to be here.
And we appreciate and I know that many of our forces have not nearly all.
Appreciate what you just said about long wars admiral James -- thank you.