Friday, March 18, 2016

SecDef Carter: Return to Sequestration Biggest Threat to National Security

Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and ISIS all pose threats, but the "biggest strategic danger" to U.S. national security would be a return to the arbitrary budget caps of the sequester process, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday.
"If the bipartisan budget agreement were to fall apart, as everyone has said, that is our biggest strategic danger because that would affect in future years our ability to recover full-spectrum readiness," Carter said in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the proposed DoD budget for Fiscal Year 2017.
"That is the greatest risk to the Department of Defense -- the reversion to sequestration. We very much hope to avoid that," said Carter, who testified with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford in support of the Obama administration's proposed defense budget of $583 billion -- $524 billion in the base budget and $59 billion in the war fund for Overseas Contingency Operations.
As they have previously, Carter and Dunford said that Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria all posed main threats, adding that those threats would possibly go unchallenged if the budget caps of the 2011 Budget Control Act returned in 2018. more