Sequestration Endangers National Security

Sequestration is “destroying military readiness and endangering national security,” AFA President retired Gen. Craig McKinley told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. In his prepared testimony, McKinley said sequestration “has normalized a dangerously low level of defense spending, constrained defense decision-makers, and … created an unhealthy competition for resources within DOD’s base budget.” McKinley emphasized a need to honor the commitment to current and retired service members, saying any change to the compensation and retirement structures should grandfather those currently serving. He suggested Congress examine the employment and benefits offerings to all federal employees as closely as it has examined those enlisted in the military. McKinley acknowledged airmen join the Air Force primarily out of a sense of patriotic duty to the nation and not because of pay and benefits compensation, however, he also emphasized the importance of stabilizing funding rather than returning to full sequester levels in Fiscal 2016. “Overall, our members want a strong, viable, ready Air Force,” he said. And that is not possible under sequester. “Sending airmen out to battle without the best training and equipment we can give them could imperil the mission and jeopardize lives,” McKinley said. “This is unacceptable.”