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US defense budget cuts could 'hollow' military: Pentagon
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US defense budget cuts could 'hollow' military: Pentagon

Feb 21 2013, 5:50am CST | by

Washington, Feb 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US military is bracing for a looming wave of across-the-board budget cuts known as the "sequestration" that Pentagon officials say would dangerously erode the United States' defences.

Washington, Feb 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US military is bracing for a looming wave of across-the-board budget cuts known as the "sequestration" that Pentagon officials say would dangerously erode...

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1 year ago

US defense budget cuts could 'hollow' military: Pentagon

Feb 21 2013, 5:50am CST | by

Washington, Feb 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US military is bracing for a looming wave of across-the-board budget cuts known as the "sequestration" that Pentagon officials say would dangerously erode the United States' defences.

Washington, Feb 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The US military is bracing for a looming wave of across-the-board budget cuts known as the "sequestration" that Pentagon officials say would dangerously erode the United States' defences.

"Sequestration will put us on a path toward a hollow force and inflict serious damage on our national security," outgoing US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a letter informing Congress Wednesday that the Pentagon will place its civilian workforce on administrative leave if the budget cuts are not averted.

The automatic sequestration cuts were established by US lawmakers in 2011 as a sort of budgetary guillotine set to fall on the entire federal government should Congress fail to implement more than $1 trillion in fiscal cuts.

But with no deal in sight as the March 1 deadline approaches, the Pentagon is staring at a possible $500 billion in cuts across the entire US Defense Department over the next decade should Congress and US President Barack Obama fail to reach a budget deal.

Lawmakers and top US military brass have been sounding the alarm in recent weeks about the dangerous impact the cuts could have on the combat-readiness of US troops and the nation's image in the eyes of friends and foes.

"The world is watching us," Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in testimony to the US Senate's appropriations committee last week. "Our friends and our enemies are watching us ... and they need to know that we have the political will to forestall sequestration."

The heads of the four branches of the US military told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that sequestration would result in a significant loss of military personnel, a dearth funding for training, and degraded arms and equipment.

The US army alone would see its ranks shrink by 100,000 soldiers next year due to the budget cuts, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said in his testimony to the committee.

US Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told the committee that US forces' "qualitative combat edge will be severely eroded by the impacts of sequestration, leaving America's men and women with inadequate training, degraded equipment, and reduced survivability".

Obama has used his executive power to insulate military personnel from the cuts, though Panetta informed the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian employees in a memo Wednesday that they would be furloughed should the March 1 deadline pass with no deal.

"In the event of sequestration we will do everything we can to be able to continue to perform our core mission of providing for the security of the United States, but there is no mistaking that the rigid nature of the cuts forced upon this department, and their scale, will result in a serious erosion of readiness across the force," Panetta wrote in the memo.

Defense budget expert Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based policy think tank, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday that some of these officials' dire warnings are "dramatizations".

"For example, our force will not become hollow and we will not fall from superpower status and capability," O'Hanlon said, though he added that the cuts are "at best hugely disruptive and a hugely inefficient policy."

The cuts would indeed "affect readiness"-primarily in training and maintenance-but their greatest impact may not be directly linked to the battlefield, O'Hanlon said.

"I believe it will be the insidious effects-convincing many civilian employees that the government is not a reliable employer, slowing down many weapons contracts in ways that make purchases more expensive over time, wasting a year as policymakers focus on a manufactured crisis rather than real substantive issues," he said.

--IANS/RIA Novosti

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IANS

Source: IANS

 
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5 weeks ago

Ex-Administration Official Destroys Obama's Argument For Not Helping Syrian Rebels

Aug 12 2014 6:29am CDT | Source: Business Insider

For the last two years, the main criticism of the Obama administration's policy toward Syria has been that the U.S., "rather than read the signals early on and arm the Syrian opposition when it was making substantial gains, allowed a vacuum to form and then fretted when that vacuum was filled by jihadists." Obama considers that to be "horsesh*t," saying the notion that arming the rebels would have made a ...
Source: Business Insider   Full article at: Business Insider
 

 
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4

2 years ago

Commentary: China And Japan - A Dangerous Standoff Over Senkaku Islands

Sep 17 2012 2:30pm CDT | Source: Free Internet Press

Intellpuke: The following commentary was written by Guardian Assistant Editor and Foreign Affairs Columnist Simon Tisdall. It was posted on the Guardian's website edition for Monday, September 17, 2012.  The latest, dangerous standoff between Japan and China, which brought violent protests across China, was sparked by Tokyo's decision to "nationalize" a chain of disputed, gas-rich i ...
Source: Free Internet Press   Full article at: Free Internet Press
 

 
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3

2 years ago

Japanese Firms Close Offices In China As Islands Dispute Escalates

Sep 17 2012 2:28pm CDT | Source: Free Internet Press

Japanese companies have temporarily closed factories and offices in China after a weekend of violent protests sparked by the countries' competing claims to a group of islands in the East China Sea, as the U.S. warned of a danger of armed conflict and urged both sides to exercise restraint. The closures came after people took to the streets in more than 70 Chinese cities to protest the Japanese government's purchase last week of the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu in Chi ...
Source: Free Internet Press   Full article at: Free Internet Press
 

 
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2

2 years ago

U.S. To Install Second Early Warning Radar System In Japan

Sep 17 2012 2:25pm CDT | Source: Free Internet Press

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, has said an agreement had been reached to install a second system aimed at protecting Japan from the threat of a missile attack from North Korea. The exact location of the radar installation has not yet been determined. It will be in the south, U.S. officials said, but not in Okinawa. Officials stressed the system would be aimed at protecting the region against the threat from North Korea and was not directed at China.  The U.S. a ...
Source: Free Internet Press   Full article at: Free Internet Press
 

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

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