Written and Published by Han Institute, February 13, 2013

Digest Notes and Comments on the Comprehensive Testimony by Top Military and Security Experts about Sequestration

The state is in great danger from incoherent policy.

Via C-SPAN.org broadcast, February 12, 2013

The Sequestration Act was part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal.

The 40 minute presentation in the Senate on February 12 was heart-wrenching. The US has failed to cut the budget sensibly but is instead going blindly forward with rudimentary infrastructure cuts to advanced security like nuclear deterrence programs.

It is a sad day to watch the top brass lower their heads, as they can no longer do their job to protect the country, as they are held at bay from facing the growing threats of North Korea, Iran, and Middle East trouble.

Defense Dept Budget Cuts General James Amos, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Senate Armed services Committee

Global market sovereignty

General Mark Welsh, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff

Can't cope with modernization, future capacity, 24 day, 140,000 employees furloughed, lost flying hours, nuclear deterrence plan, 150 aircraft backlog

Vice Chief of Navy Operations

Congress must provide a cohesive plan

Senator James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma

Did you quantify the damage of readiness, risk, lives?

Senator John McCain: At this time, when North Korea is conducting another nuclear test, we are sequestering our nuclear defense program.

It is time for the President to call Congress to sit down to prevent sequestration, it is damaging to national security and to men and women in service.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire

Question: On a scale of 10, what is the damage factor? Answer: It is at 10. This is steepest cut in our history and most dangerous it has ever been.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado It is real danger to national security to put national interests behind petty party sniping. If there are damages, it doesn't matter who wins the 2014 majority.

Army Training budget above battalion level will stop

General Raymond Odierno, U.S. Army Chief of Staff: National missile warning system affected, space command basic mission, missiles warning, to power radar.

Senator Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska: $56B over 5 years, this holds up the nuclear deterrent capability.

Marco Rubio's rebuttal after Obama's 1 hour State of the Union speech: Open federal land, grow our energy.

He shouldn't yell in Spanish to request federal land rights. That is encroachment.

Senator Lindsey Graham: Sequestration sends our military leaders into a moral dilemma, knowing well in advance that when we send our soldiers out they will die.

Ferguson: We need to cut $46 billion. Even furloughing defense civilians with the maximum allowed by law, you can only cut $5 billion; we still need to find an additional $41 billion.

I: When you furlough civilian defense employees, the work still needs to be done. Somebody needs to do the work.

Senator Angus King, I-Maine: This sequestration is going to put our country out of business. It's dumb. In my small state Maine, we have a stable GDP. Defense spending is the lowest in 50 years.

In the Institution of American government, deferring maintenance will not save money.

Ms. Hirono, D-Hawaii, how will sequestration impact in Asia in the coming years? General Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Chairman: 80% will be degraded.

Carter, interim defense minister: we can't have same strategy with this type of cuts. Senator: This is not what Hagel said in December.

Senator Levin wrapped up in conclusion: We recommend removing sequestration as it was just a way to prod us to do something to reduce the deficit. But now it is a real danger and threat.

Comments:

Defense has been blamed as the central problem for the deficit. Despite that they are only 17% of the budget they are being told to bear the major brunt 50% of the cuts, to the point of inoperability. DoD has been unjustly targeted for $500 billion in cuts, already being implemented without much protest, however with an additional $600 billion in cuts coming from sequestration, this will reduce the nation's defense to a degraded third-class state.

As of now, Congress is not strategic enough to prevent this disintegration. All the think tanks in Washington are malfunctioning, not thinking but tanking.

A larger and growing proportion of the deficit, Medicare's skyrocketing costs, has never been reined in efficiently by the federal government.

The state of the nation speaks a very tragic tone of our economy, everything is very expensive, and the only thing that is relatively low cost is the defense employees. For example, a two-year MBA program in Stanford requires $200,000.

American high ranking top military professionals have emphatically protested against sequestration, as it is decimating the capacity for readiness. They presented their case vocally and in writing to the Congress. If sequestration takes place, it will shrink the fleet 50 ships when the impact kicks in, Air Force, inadequate in Iran; Army will suffer 40% reduction and will have to close additional bases, after many rounds of base closures over the past 20 years have thinned out our bases. It is at the point of not being sustainable.

Comprehensively, all the top military defense leaders have warned of the dire impact on national security and health of the overall state of the defense capability. It will have a crippling effect, and as a consequence will take the country more into debt to tackle problems sequestration creates. All sequestration does is to disable the functionality and efficiency of defense, the cuts will cost much more in the long run. When you randomly cut 20% of a system in a running state, the remaining 80% will be left in disarray.

Across the board, the private sector and public sector will all taste the bitter crashing of the economy, and America will lose character and reputation, and become a laughingstock of the world, inviting assaults abroad and on its home front. Sequestration will be unnecessarily harmful to the entire country, despite that the business sector thinks they can draw a line between the private sector and public sector without realizing that all sectors are interrelated, and succeed or fail together.

Sequestration was an extreme strategy devised to prompt us to do something to control the deficit. Unfortunately, it is getting out of hand now. If the Executive Department still turns a deaf ear, the looming consequences will descend, and it will take a long time to undo this damage. The President and Congress that are responsible will both be condemned by the public for years to come.

If you love America, you cannot let sequestration happen on March 1, or at any other time. It isn't important which party is more to blame for this; people demand that the country be defended at all times from all enemies. All of you are mutually responsible for defending the nation. The tumor of sequestration has to be immediately removed at this point, before it becomes inoperable cancer.

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