Defense

February 5, 2013

DOD leaders: Budget deadlock could spark readiness crisis

Issuing perhaps their strongest warnings yet, Pentagon leaders Feb. 3 said the budget impasse threatens to create a military readiness crisis.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined in interviews, televised yesterday, with CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” and NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”

The budget provision known as “sequester,” which is set to take effect March 1 unless Congress acts, would trigger a half-trillion dollars in defense spending cuts over 10 years, beyond major spending cuts already in place over that period. Defense Department staffs are preparing for the worst, Panetta said.

“If sequester goes into effect, and we have to do the kind of cuts that will go right at readiness, right at maintenance, right at training, we are going to weaken the United States and make it much more difficult for us to respond to the crises in the world,” Panetta said.

“We’ve got to plan for that possibility, … but I have to tell you, it is irresponsible for [sequester] to happen,” the secretary added. “I mean, why– why in God’s name – would members of Congress elected by the American people take a step that would badly damage our national defense, but more importantly, undermine the support for our men and women in uniform? Why would you do that?”

Dempsey noted sequester is only part of the vise closing around DOD. Under the continuing resolution that sets government spending at previous levels when an appropriations bill isn’t passed, Pentagon spending for the fiscal year already is out of balance, he said.

“The combined effects of sequester and the continuing resolution creates a magnitude of cut in the last half of the year,” Dempsey explained. “We have to absorb $52 billion when you count the effects of both sequestration and the continuing resolution in the last half of the year.”

Panetta and Dempsey both have stated repeatedly that defense spending priorities always will be supporting troops in combat and training those next to deploy. The chairman yesterday detailed what civilian employees can expect if sequester happens and they are furloughed.

“They will lose two days per pay period, 20 percent less pay for the rest of the year,” he said.

Dempsey noted that despite public perception, less than a quarter of defense civilian employees work in the Washington area.

“There’s this notion that [civilian furloughs are] probably OK, because they are just a bunch of white-collar bureaucrats,” he said.

But 86 percent of DOD’s civilian employees “live outside of Washington, D.C., are in our schools, in our clinics, in our motor pools, in our depots, in our factories,” Dempsey added. “This will affect the entire country, and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>