Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sequestration Update

Sequestration, meaning to separate or confiscate, continues to be the elephant in the room. It is coming and it will have a devastating effect on national defense unless Congress and the Administration work together to head it off.

When the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, nicknamed the Super Committee, failed to come to agreement on additional budget cuts to trim the deficit last November, the repercussion – in line with the Budget Control Act – is for sequestration to take effect next January 2013.

No one exactly knows what will happen when and if “sequestration” occurs but it will be ugly. An additional $450 billion cut across the department of defense on top of an already $487 billion cut will have dire consequences.While sequestration was never meant to take place, senior military leaders have gone on record stating that it would bring about devastating effects.

As many as 150,000 troops and tens of thousands of civilians could be cut from Defense and, according to a study by Dr. Stephen S. Fuller at George Mason University, additional cuts to the defense budget will result in potential job losses (direct, indirect, community) of hundreds of thousands within the industrial base and local communities.

Last week, Peter Singer penned a five-part series on Sequestration, and what it would do to U.S. Military Power, breaking it down to a simpler level.

[Part 1: A sequestration primer;Part 2: Comparing defense budgets, apples to apples;
Part 3
: A case study: east Asia;Part 4: Impact on the Korean peninsula; Part 5: Stupid, but not disastrous.]

It's a series of articles worth reading to get a better idea of sequestration and the defense budget in relation to the overall U.S. budget. But it must be kept in mind that its not just the defense budget that will slashed. Education, childcare and unemployment programs -- among many others -- are all "under threat" as these across-the-board cuts are scheduled to strike in January 2013. (Here's a report b y the White House's Office of Management and Budget: which programs are sequestrable: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/stareport.pdf)

"Sequestration would be a terribly stupid thing to do. It not only wouldn’t solve the core problems driving the U.S. debt crisis, but it would also cut the defense budget in an incredibly un-strategic manner, cutting both the good and the bad by the same portions with no planning. -- Peter Singer"

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