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Former Navy Chief OK With Defense Budget Cuts

Adm. Vern Clark
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Above: Adm. Vern Clark

Former U.S. Navy chief of operations, Adm. Vern Clark, told a San Diego Military Advisory Council forum that he supports a post-war reduction in the Pentagon budget, according to the U-T San Diego.

U-T reporter Jeanette Steele writes that Clark told the gathered crowd he felt it was appropriate for the Defense budget to decrease from more than $700 billion to roughly $500 billion:

“It may shock you but I’m somewhat in alignment that this number is awfully big,” he said, referring to the combination of the Pentagon’s $530 billion baseline budget, separate war funding and add-ons that totaled $703 billion in the 2012 fiscal year.

“There are Republicans who very much can’t speak about reductions in defense, but who very much believe that there have to be, and this may be the only way to do it.”

Clark's views, and those of the Republicans of which he speaks, are in contrast to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney has been very critical of the proposed defense cuts backed by the Obama administration. Romney is calling for a boost in baseline defense spending to $600 billion.

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