The sequester—Washington’s mindless across the board budget cuts—is here. Pentagon leaders have until now taken the easy way out by targeting two pots of money for the biggest hits: modernization and readiness. Modernization is the military’s investment in the future, while readiness pays for a healthy force today. While the automatic cuts are not saving substantial sums of money, if they are going to hit defense spending, they need to hit the right targets. Will President Obama allow that and will the Pentagon meet the challenge?
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The starting point of a national debate about national security must be that the U.S. military is too small and under-resourced to carry out the nation’s defense strategy.
The Budget Control Act, with its massive defense cuts totaling almost $1 trillion, has harmed America’s military, and immediate reversal is required. The force is nearing high-risk status, and the outcomes could be disastrous for those in uniform, the nation, and its interests.
In an environment where almost every senior military leader is blue in the face warning of the significant risk to our security posed by sequestration's budget caps it seems entirely appropriate to use the OCO to mitigate that risk.