Getting Ready

The Defense Department is now planning for budget sequestration after receiving guidance this week from the White House budget office to pursue internal preparations, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters on Dec. 5. Little said DOD still hopes Congress will act to prevent sequestration from taking effect on Jan. 2. Sequestration would usher in some $500 billion in cuts to the defense budget through Fiscal 2021 on top of the $487 billion in reductions already programmed over that span. “We are at the very start,” noted Little. He continued, “We don’t have all of the details firmed up.” At some point, however, he added, DOD officials “are going to have to do some detailed planning . . . on the numbers and the specific consequences.” The Pentagon leadership has consistently said sequestration would be a disaster for national security, placing in question the US military’s ability to execute the nation’s new defense strategy and risking a hollow force. Little said DOD plans to communicate to its workforce to help prepare it for what may come. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)