Don't just delay sequestration — stop it

U.S. Army/Pfc. Allison Lampe

Soldiers assigned to Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment, Illinois National Guard finish a hard day in the field during training on Camp Ripley, Minn., July 22, 2012.

Article Highlights

  • Defense sequestration cuts 500 bil in addition to more than 800 bil already planned.

    Tweet This

  • Defense sequestration hinders American commitment to allies and partners.

    Tweet This

  • America's servicemen deserve better; stop defense sequestration.

    Tweet This

Don't just delay sequestration - stop it

Download PDF
By delaying defense sequestration two months, President Obama and Congress have shown their unambiguous recognition that sequestration’s automatic and indiscriminate cuts to the U.S. military pose clear dangers to national security.  However, America’s leaders must now match their recognition of this reality with the resolve required to definitively stop defense sequestration.  Otherwise, they will end up throwing the military’s servicemen and servicewomen off the fiscal cliff—and the nation off a strategic cliff.

Even though the United States remains a nation at war, the military still faces the looming threat of sequestration’s across-the-board cuts of $500 billion over the next decade.  What’s worse, these massive reductions will come on top of the more than $800 billion already cut from previously-planned defense spending over the last four years, including the $487 billion that President Obama just cut from long-term defense spending in February 2012.

Defense sequestration will fundamentally alter America’s strategic posture in the world, its capacity to keep the peace, and its ability to sustain its existing security commitments to allies and partners.  As General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has pointedly noted, “Anything beyond [existing cuts], we have to go back to the drawing board on the strategy.”  Sequestration also undermines our implied commitment to the men and women who volunteer to serve in our armed services and put their lives on the line—but who do so believing they will have the best weapons, the most advanced training, and sufficient numbers to dominate in any conflict.  By only delaying and not halting these cuts, Congress and the President have made it difficult for the military to adequately plan and make appropriate budgeting and programmatic decisions given ongoing uncertainty about FY 2013 funding levels.  And, finally, sequestration will have a devastating impact on the country’s defense industrial base by forcing both the sacking of large numbers of highly-skilled and experienced workers, and a decade’s long drawdown in resources applied to research and development programs that sustain America’s military technological edge.

In sum, sequestration increases the long-term risks to our nation’s security and prosperity in a world that is only becoming increasingly complex and dangerous.  The U.S. military’s servicemen and servicewomen—and the American people—deserve better.  It’s long past time for President Obama and Congress not just to delay defense sequestration, but to stop it, once and for all.

 

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Thomas
Donnelly

 

Gary J.
Schmitt

 

Mackenzie
Eaglen
  • Mackenzie Eaglen has worked on defense issues in the U.S. Congress, both House and Senate, and at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on the Joint Staff. She specializes in defense strategy, budget, military readiness and the defense industrial base. In 2010, Ms. Eaglen served as a staff member of the congressionally mandated Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel, a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission established to assess the Pentagon's major defense strategy. A prolific writer on defense related issues, she has also testified before Congress.


     


    Follow Mackenzie Eaglen on Twitter.

  • Phone: (202) 862-7183
    Email: mackenzie.eaglen@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Charles Morrison
    Phone: (202) 862-5945
    Email: charles.morrison@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image Dad and the diploma: The difference fathers make for college graduation
image A better way to finance that college degree
image Fracking for bigger budgets
image Earth Day: Hail fossil fuels, energy of the future
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.