Friday, September 16, 2016

Four Service Chiefs Say They Can’t Defend US Under Sequestration

If the Budget Control Act goes into full effect, the heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines told the Senate Armed Services Committee today, they will not be able to protect the United States as they are charged to do.
Sequestration was meant to be the poison pill no one would swallow so Republicans and Democrats would be forced to negotiate a way out of America’s debt and funding problems. Then came the Tea Party, bellowing and fulminating that they would not support increases in federal spending. The GOP leadership collapsed. The White House didn’t help much either. Ever since, the Defense Department has been stuck between hoping for temporary deals to relieve sequestration and fulminating about how deaf both sides on the Hill have been to the dangers of sequestration to the military in the long term.
Lindsey Graham, who seems to increasingly serve as one of the few members of either chamber able to discuss sequestration in a rational manner, told the Joint Chiefs they need to go to the White House and tell President Obama that they cannot execute the current strategy of defeating one major power and hold another if sequestration continues.
The ultimate cost, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the committee, will be that conflicts will last longer. That means, he said, “the butchers bill is paid with American lives.” Milley noted that Army weapons systems’ readiness already is “well below 90 percent, and that is great cause for concern.” more