Sen. Lindsey Graham, a GOP defense hawk from South Carolina, said sequestration, if left in place, will break the military. Graham also said any additional Defense Department cuts would be dangerous given the long list of threats America is facing, pointing to Iran’s nuclear program, al-Qaida and continuing instability in Syria.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told her budget conference colleagues that senior Army leaders tell her only two brigades are fully ready for combat. Replacing sequestration would help greatly to reverse that, she said.
Republicans, led by advocates such as House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Buck McKeon of California, say the defense budget has borne more than its share of the burden since its first sizable reductions in 2011. It’s time to shrink entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, they argue, not to scale down American power.
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) wrote a letter of his own imploring the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to remember the Defense Department as he negotiates with his Senate Democratic counterpart on the future budget blueprint due in mid-December.
"If we go to a continuing resolution plus sequestration — which is what we’re planning — it’s going to significantly reduce our ability to train again this year," warned Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. "So the worst case scenario is, you ask me to deploy thousands of soldiers somewhere, and we have not properly trained them to go, because we simply don’t have the dollars and money because of the way sequestration is laid out that it makes it more difficult."
Is it ok with you if the Pentagon budget might be cut so much that the Pentagon might have trouble running around the world bombing, invading, and occupying other people’s countries? Would you prefer that to c
utting Social Security benefits and raising taxes so that we could keep tormenting the world with gratuitous violence? If that’s your position, tell Congress.