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Top Pentagon Brass Lay Out Details of Sequestration Nightmare
Government Executive ^ | 12 Feb 13 | Charles S. Clark

Posted on 02/12/2013 3:24:32 PM PST by SkyPilot

With less than three weeks to go before automatic governmentwide budget cuts, the entire leadership team at the Pentagon on Tuesday implored the Senate Armed Services Committee to cancel sequestration and adjust the continuing resolution set to run out March 27.

In an emotional hearing that prompted lawmakers to criticize their own and blast President Obama’s leadership, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and top civilian officials laid out details of the harm across-the-board budget cuts would inflict on the nation’s military readiness and long-term effectiveness.

“Military readiness is in jeopardy due to the convergence of unprecedented budget factors,” said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. “We need help from our elected leaders to avoid hollowing out the force and compromising our nation’s security. Specifically, we need passage of a regular 2013 defense appropriation, and we need sequestration to be canceled.” Otherwise, the United States would have “a degraded capability,” and it would be “immoral” to send troops into battle, he added.

Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., called sequestration “arbitrary and irrational,” noting that it would not only weaken security but also harm education child care and airport safety. “We cannot afford to look the other way and pretend there is not a huge looming problem.”

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter called the “twin evils” of sequestration and a year-long continuing resolution “more dangerous than it’s ever been” as the Pentagon faces its “biggest cut in history.” He warned that cuts of $42 billion by the end of fiscal 2013 would mean a “drastic shortfall in the funding we need to do training, which inhibits our capacity to fight.” The Defense Department, he added, “would have to go back and redo our national defense strategy.”

(Excerpt) Read more at govexec.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: budget; military; pentagon; sequestration

1 posted on 02/12/2013 3:24:41 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

"Our enemies may be irrational, even outright insane,
driven by nationalism, religion, ethnicity or ideology.
They do not fear the United States
for its diplomatic skills or the number of automobiles
and software programs it produces.
They respect only the firepower of our tanks,
planes and helicopter gunships."

President Ronald Reagan

2 posted on 02/12/2013 3:26:33 PM PST by Diogenesis (De Oppresso Liber)
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To: All
Carter’s testimony included grim details. He mentioned cuts of $2 billion to $3 billion in the TRICARE military health insurance program. “You can’t cut health care the way you can cut back depot maintenance or training,” he said, “because you can’t tell people they can’t be sick or see a doctor.”

He noted that a coming hiring freeze would disproportionately affect veterans, who make up 44 percent of the department’s civilian workforce. Layoffs would hit a significant portion of 46,000 temporary employees; more than $10 billion in funding -- mostly to contractors and small businesses -- would vanish. The Air Force, for example, plans to scale back facilities maintenance by about 50 percent, affecting 189 projects at 55 installations in 26 states, he said.

As of March 1, the services will begin canceling fleet maintenance work for the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year, affecting 25 ships and 470 aircraft, he said. What will be put on hold are “contracts we intend to enter, such as multiyear contracts,” Carter said. The industrial base, particularly small businesses vital to the supply chain and to innovation, he said, won’t have the capital to stay in business. “All of the hard work our managers did for taxpayers to get a good deal for the government all goes down the drain,” Carter added.

Army Gen. Raymond Odierno told lawmakers he has cut 3,100 temporary and term employees from the workforce and ordered an immediate departmentwide hiring freeze. The Army has initiated planning to furlough up to 251,000 civilians for one day a week for 22 weeks. The service also is preparing to cancel depot maintenance in the third and fourth quarters, which would eliminate an estimated 5,000 temporary, term, contractor and permanent jobs. “We will reduce Army purchase orders with 3,000 companies,” of which 1,100 could face bankruptcy, he said.

“We are reducing institutional training across the Army. This will result in a backlog across our education,” Odierno added, noting that sequestration affects everything, including veterans suicide prevention programs.

Not a lot of happy news here.

3 posted on 02/12/2013 3:26:33 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot
Top Pentagon brass are no more credible than other political appointees seeking to maintain their budgets.

That said congress had better not short sheet our guys overseas.

4 posted on 02/12/2013 3:27:44 PM PST by skeeter
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To: skeeter

“That said congress had better not short sheet our guys overseas.”

.... better not? Wake up.

The gang raped and murdered Ambassador
and the murdered Patriots at his side
are a barometer of what exists now.


5 posted on 02/12/2013 3:30:03 PM PST by Diogenesis (De Oppresso Liber)
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To: SkyPilot

I’m so sick of these f’n games. Obama set this up and now he’s going to save us....somehow...


6 posted on 02/12/2013 3:35:20 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: SkyPilot

I’m a vet, but from my experience cutting out some “necessary spending” might include a brand golf course for some General Officers stationed overseas.


7 posted on 02/12/2013 3:42:25 PM PST by radioone
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To: SkyPilot

I’m a vet, but from my experience cutting out some “necessary spending” might include a brand golf course for some General Officers stationed overseas.


8 posted on 02/12/2013 3:42:25 PM PST by radioone
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To: Diogenesis
Dear God I miss this man.


9 posted on 02/12/2013 3:43:25 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: Sacajaweau

>> Obama set this up and now he’s going to save us....somehow...<<

obozo will give 2 choices: pay more taxes or else fund the military by firing firemen, police and teachers (I know they are state/local funded but most people don’t).


10 posted on 02/12/2013 3:43:25 PM PST by freedumb2003 (I learned everything I needed to know about racism from Colin Powell)
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To: radioone

Yes. The nice to haves are getting cut, like the Army Heritage Days in Carlisle PA and the Navy Air Shows with the Blue Angels What’s important that’s getting cut is he overhauling and maintenance.


11 posted on 02/12/2013 3:58:55 PM PST by merry10
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To: SkyPilot

I am a civilian, 27 years. I have always strived to work hard and not be a typical civil servant. One thing that can be cut is some of this mandatory training for us civilians. Training called “Trafficking in Persons”. Prevention of Sexual Harassment. Etc. I totaled up the estimated hours of all my mandatory training that I deemed wasteful and multiplied it by my pay rate. It was over 3k. Multiply that by a command of 400 and it comes to over 1 million dollars. That stuff chaps my hide.


12 posted on 02/12/2013 4:04:08 PM PST by merry10
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To: SkyPilot

I am a civilian, 27 years. I have always strived to work hard and not be a typical civil servant. One thing that can be cut is some of this mandatory training for us civilians. Training called “Trafficking in Persons”. Prevention of Sexual Harassment. Etc. I totaled up the estimated hours of all my mandatory training that I deemed wasteful and multiplied it by my pay rate. It was over 3k. Multiply that by a command of 400 and it comes to over 1 million dollars. That stuff chaps my hide.


13 posted on 02/12/2013 4:04:08 PM PST by merry10
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To: SkyPilot

I am a civilian, 27 years. I have always strived to work hard and not be a typical civil servant. One thing that can be cut is some of this mandatory training for us civilians. Training called “Trafficking in Persons”. Prevention of Sexual Harassment. Etc. I totaled up the estimated hours of all my mandatory training that I deemed wasteful and multiplied it by my pay rate. It was over 3k. Multiply that by a command of 400 and it comes to over 1 million dollars. That stuff chaps my hide.


14 posted on 02/12/2013 4:04:22 PM PST by merry10
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To: SkyPilot

At this point, I would welcome some intervention of this traitorous administration by some patriots in the specops community.


15 posted on 02/12/2013 4:05:54 PM PST by patriotsblood
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To: freedumb2003
obozo will give 2 choices: pay more taxes or else fund the military by firing firemen, police and teachers

As you noted, federal and local finances are not directly related.

The problem is that this article decries loss of civilian jobs under the DOD, even claiming that "veterans are hit hardest" but it makes threats about loss of combat readiness and military health care.

I'd suggest that 30 to 40% of DOD civilians could handily be laid off without damage to national defense and that Tricare is already being down sized, not to mention that a vet working for DOD becomes eligible for two medical and two retirement benefits, both at taxpayer expense.

Since most federal worker's labor is redundant or simply does not add value or reason to the process, losing up to half of them would not impact defense if they'd simply address the absurd procedures DOD operates under.

As to firemen, pot holes, and police, the administration and most local administrations will be certain to make any cuts painful on the average citizen while protecting their own.

16 posted on 02/12/2013 4:13:54 PM PST by norton
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To: SkyPilot

LMBO!!
Ubama has his propaganda machinery running full tilt.

The DC scumbags can slash spending elsewhere and fund defense if that’s what they want to do.
But they cannot - - yet again - - raise taxes or “revenues”, period.

Your move, Ubama, you African communist piece of sh**.


17 posted on 02/12/2013 4:14:37 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SkyPilot

Hmmm...They made an agreement that if they didn’t pass a budget, sequestration would take affect...Then they refused to agree on a budget regardless...

Sounds like a plan to me...


18 posted on 02/12/2013 4:48:06 PM PST by Iscool (I love animals...barbequed, fried, grilled, stewed,,,,)
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To: SkyPilot
Flame me if I am wrong, but is not the sequestration just a slowdown in the increase of future spending and that there are no actual spending cuts at hand? If so, is the military and their associated special interest groups just playing into Obama’s triangulation games against conservatives ?
19 posted on 02/12/2013 5:20:32 PM PST by buckalfa (Tilting at Windmills)
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To: SkyPilot

The Pentagon “chiefs” are in this bind because a foreign born communist plant is usurping power and using that power to destroy OUR Country, yet these same “ chiefs” scramble to kiss the kenyan’s ass while pledging to fire on American citizens, should the mood strike Hussein!


20 posted on 02/12/2013 5:28:40 PM PST by 21st Century Crusader (August 26, 1191)
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To: radioone

Well, there are not any of those, but there are a lot of general officers who could easily be replaced by O-6s. We have way to many Generals/Admirals. I was an O-5 on 5th Fleet staff in Bahrain the past two years and there were at least 30 of us. Probably another 15-20 O-6s. That is a lot of money. I literally recycled power point briefs day in and day out for two years. I can honestly say I did nothing substantial.


21 posted on 02/12/2013 5:36:24 PM PST by ThunderStruck94
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To: buckalfa
No worreis. It's a good question.

The answer to no - this is not a "baseline budget" scare tactic.

This chart lays out just part of the problem. Where you see the $407 Billion in cut, those were started 2 years ago, and it is even worse (the total cut has been increased to $487 Billion, in part to "pay" for the Sandy pork bill.

This was a HUGE cut to the Pentagon under Obama I. Thousands of DoD jobs were lost, and modernization programs cancelled or scaled down.

THEN came the Continuing Resolution, which froze the DoD budget to last year's levels. There is no "increase" in spending. It gets worse. When things like fuel prices increase (and they have), the DoD has to pay those costs. The cost of almost everything is up from last year, from fuel to healthcare. The Pentagon is paying for all of that with less money.

On top of all this come the gift of Sequestration, which is the final knife to the Dept of Defense. It demands over $600 Billion in cuts over ten years, and we are already halfway through the fiscal year. So all of the first year's cuts have to come between March and September.

Then it gets worse.....again.

Obama is demanding huge cuts in active duty troos as part of his 2011 massive cut to the Pentagon, but to deflect blame for the Sequestration cuts and to avoid political fall out during the fall campaign, he said the Pentagon cannot touch military pay. So all the cut have to come from Operations and Maintenance, the life blood of the military. The O&M cuts will be 25% or greater.

That is why the Joint Chiefs are not joking this time. This is a disaster for the US and our military.


22 posted on 02/12/2013 5:40:02 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

If the brass has had months to prepare and they are now whining about being unprepared, they don’t deserve the leadership positions they occupy.
Fire them all...

Suck it up. Do what’s right. Pay, house, feed the troops and cut out the BS. Start closing down foreign bases that are nothing more than outposts of America...Europe, for starters.

Knock off the crap. We are all in this together, and Zero and 0bamunists MUST own this nightmare...every minute of it and every penny of it.


23 posted on 02/12/2013 5:40:52 PM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2016; I pray we make it that long.)
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To: ThunderStruck94

I’m all for the military and don’t want to see one dollar cut - but - they over estimate their budget needs by at least 50% each year so if they do get cut by 30% they’re still 120% to the good.


24 posted on 02/12/2013 5:44:27 PM PST by winged1
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To: PubliusMM
If the Republicans wanted to stop runaway Entitlement spending they should have shut the government down back in 2011. Entitlements are 62% of all Federal spending, and it gets worse every day.

But the Republicans didn't have the stones to do that. They couldn't bear the thought of the news media blaming them for school children being denied access to the Smithsonian or worse, granny's Social Security check being late. Not with an election coming up the following year. So they voted for Sequestration.......a Faustian bargain that EXEMPTED entitlements from cuts!

Now, the Americans who serve and sacrifice the most for this country have to "suck it up" - to use your words.

I never used to blame the GOP, I gave them credit even when they failed because I knew they were trying to do the right thing. Not this time. They threw Defense on the altar of Entitlements and now won't lift a finger to correct their error.

25 posted on 02/12/2013 6:28:45 PM PST by SkyPilot
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To: winged1

and this assertion is based on an in depth understanding of PPBES or other expert knowledge such as.....?


26 posted on 02/12/2013 6:41:37 PM PST by redlegplanner ( No Representation without Taxation)
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To: winged1

Let’s not forget, the DoD will get over $600 billion per year to play with. $600+ billion. Our tax revenues are about $2.2 trillion and are way too high as it is. The DoD gets about 1/4th of our real tax money. Imagine the fed didn’t borrow another $2 trillion and stuck with just what they took in. The DoD is saying they can’t make it on that. Good grief.


27 posted on 02/12/2013 6:52:59 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: CodeToad

Is 25% of revenue too much for job #1?


28 posted on 02/12/2013 8:50:59 PM PST by redlegplanner ( No Representation without Taxation)
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To: redlegplanner

I don’t play the percent game. How about you answer is $600 billion for defense and $2.2 trillion in taxes both too much. I think so.


29 posted on 02/13/2013 6:54:46 AM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: CodeToad

600 B = ~ 4% of the GDP. Not too much under the concept of “PROVIDE for the COMMON defense.” This is down from ~ 8% in the 60s.

$1 for federal welfare is too much under the concept of “PROMOTE the GENERAL welfare”

Welfare, to include all unearned entitlements, is the problem. Fix this issue and the taxers will take care of themselves.


30 posted on 02/13/2013 6:12:35 PM PST by redlegplanner ( No Representation without Taxation)
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To: redlegplanner

See, you’re caught in that percent game. I don’t pay my mortgage on percent of income and neither do you. We pay on dollars. So, try actually thinking if $600,000,000,000 is enough or not, not if its worth some kind of percent. I mean, do you go to Wal-Mart and the price is listed as “$1.99” or is it listed as “$0.0001% of your income”?


31 posted on 02/13/2013 7:01:45 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: CodeToad

DoD budget hasn’t kept up with inflation over the past 30 years. Now that entitlement programs have dwarfed the DoD budget, the DoD budget is sacrificing even more than previous burn rates.

Some new facilities were constructed funded by the end of the Bush Administration, which are now wrapping up, but hey pale in comparison to what we built overseas for 3rd world nations who now are gaining infrastructure more versatile than ours.

The best savings can be made by getting rid of the litany of regulations muzzling all activity. Everything costs 10x more than what it has to cost for functionality, even keeping laws on the books so people fulfill the intent of the regs.

Today we are making lists of all HAZMAT materials we purchase (anything with an MSDS) and now must maintain lists of who by name has authority to use anything with an MSDS sheet. The bureaucracy is mind numbing.


32 posted on 02/13/2013 7:30:57 PM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: CodeToad

$ and % are two different ways of expressing the same thing. % of GDP is more useful as it provides a constant method over time to reflect the amount of the nation’s purse is devoted to a given area. It is much easier than trying to measure, say, the cost of a CVN versus the cost of the USS Constitution. This is much like mortgage guidelines for how much house one should / could purchase that are also expressed as a percentage of personal income. Using the metric % of GDP allows us to measure the relative change in national priorities


33 posted on 02/13/2013 7:48:04 PM PST by redlegplanner ( No Representation without Taxation)
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