SAN DIEGO -- A political action committee was started Tuesday in San Diego to fight proposed defense budget cuts.
Organizers of the Fight 4 America super PAC unveiled three television commercials that focus on what they believe is deficient defense spending. The advertisements are set to run nationally and in electoral battleground states.
"The trillion dollars in national security cuts, if allowed to pass, will be the greatest tragedy of the Obama administration,'' said former Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon, who for years was the GOP leader of the House Armed Services Committee.
"The cuts will result in 200,000 soldiers and Marines being cut, Navy ships being reduced to the point that China will become dominant in the western Pacific and leaving American military personnel with inadequate equipment for years to come,'' said Hunter, who will serve on the PAC's board of directors.
The leadership panel also includes Republican political strategist Ed Rollins and three Iraq War veterans, two of whom were wounded in the line of duty.
Defense spending cuts could result in the smallest ground forces since 1940, the fewest ships since 1915 and the smallest number of tactical fighters in the history of the Air Force, according to Fight 4 America.
Automatic cuts in defense spending could begin in January if certain budgetary targets aren't met, part of agreements between the president and congressional leaders last year that averted a government shutdown.
Last week, the House passed a $642 billion National Defense Authorization Act that was $8 billion over the agreed amount. After it was passed, Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, released a statement expressing concerns over how the gap will be bridged.
"While a number of decisions were made to restore cuts from the president's budget, we will need to resolve this difference at some point,'' Davis said. "This means that programs will need to be cut. My hope is that the pay and benefits of our brave men and women will not be the bill payer when we must reduce spending in this bill.''
The House version included a 1.7 percent military pay increase, which she praised.
One Fight 4 America television ad has a narrator explaining the impact of defense cuts while video shows the stars and stripes being lowered and replaced with a white flag.
A second ad focuses on President Barack Obama's off-the-cuff comment to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility on the contentious missile defense shield after the November general election. The third explains the threat from Iran and North Korea and says now is not the time to reduce defense spending.
The PACs mission statement says the organization wants to keep "America's defenses strong, ready and able to defend our nation's interests, and to ensure that the men and women in uniform who defend our country should be the best equipped, trained and supported in the world.''
Spokesman Tony Manolatos said Fight 4 America expects to be around long after the November election -- serving as a watchdog, holding the president and Congress accountable, and supporting national security and the nation's military personnel.