The current, antiseptic debate about defense sequestration in Washington obscures the real-world consequences of cutting spending on military training and technology. Those are the two things that most distinguish U.S. warfighters from their counterparts in other countries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Bottom Line On Defense Sequestration: Warfighters Will Die -- Loren Thompson, Forbes
Last week, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sent a letter to Congress explaining the destructive consequences of military spending cuts required by the 2011 Budget Control Act. The deficit-reduction measure mandated two rounds of cuts, each averaging about $50 billion per year through 2021. The White House has submitted a fiscal 2014 defense request that complies with the first round but not the second, meaning it is roughly $50 billion above spending caps established by the law.
Hagel’s letter requested relief from the additional $50 billion in cuts – referred to in legislative parlance as “sequestration” – arguing that the scale and abruptness of the reductions would damage the nation’s defenses. He predicted major erosion in military readiness and technology investment if the planned cuts were not replaced with a more balanced approach to deficit reduction. But Hagel’s letter didn’t get to the crux of the matter until the last page of an attachment, which stated, “In some future conflict, less capable weapons could mean a less desirable military outcome and more casualties.”
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My Comment: A pessimistic prediction .... and one that will probably come true.