Rep. Allen West tells Newsmax that the cuts in Pentagon spending that would be required if the congressional supercommittee fails to reach a compromise would “gut” the U.S. military and leave Americans unable to protect and defend themselves.

The Florida Republican also warns that “the clock is ticking very fast” toward Iran becoming a nuclear-armed threat, and says the United States should “absolutely” support the Israelis if they launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

West was first elected in 2010 and is a member of the Tea Party Caucus. He is also an Army veteran who served for more than 20 years, with postings in several combat zones, and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.