The Wonderful World of Sequestration

Stripping the Defense Department of an additional $500 billion over the next 10 years through the Budget Control Act’s sequestration mechanism could very well make the world a more dangerous place, said Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey June 13. “We can’t yet say precisely how bad the damage would be, but it is clear that sequestration would risk hollowing out our force and reducing [the] military options available to the nation,” Dempsey told the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel. He added, “We would go from being unquestionably powerful everywhere to being less visibly globally and presenting less of an overmatch to our adversaries. And that would translate into a different deterrent calculus and potentially, therefore, increase the likelihood of conflict.” Dempsey said the Pentagon leadership carefully crafted DOD’s $614 billion spending request for Fiscal 2013. He called the request “a comprehensive and carefully devised set of choices . . . that reflect the right mix among force structure, modernization, readiness, pay, and benefits.” Sequestration, he said, “is absolutely certain to upend this balance.” Testifying with Dempsey, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said sequestration would “inflict severe damage on our national defense.” (Dempsey’s prepared remarks) (Panetta’s written testimony)