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Dangerous Defense Cuts

8:08 AM, Oct 14, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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From FPI's latest fact sheet, "The Dangers of Deep Defense Cuts: What America’s Civilian and Military Leaders are Saying:"

Unless Congress passes a law by mid-January 2012 that reduces the long-term federal deficit by more than $1.2 trillion, the U.S. Department of Defense will automatically face deep spending cuts over next 10 years—cuts that America’s civilian and military leaders have candidly described as “devastating” and “very high risk.”

The precarious state of the Pentagon’s future fiscal affairs is due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, the controversial August deal by which Congress and the President agreed to raise America’s debt limit.  As part of the bargain, the debt-limit deal immediately placed ceilings to cap the defense budget and other forms of discretionary spending—and the effect of these limits was to cut Pentagon spending over the next  decade by an estimated $350 billion to $500 billion.

That said, defense spending stands to be slashed even more severely if Congress fails to meet its deficit-cutting deadline of January 12, 2012.  In the worst-case scenario, the Budget Control Act’s so-called “trigger” provision would cut an additional $600 billion from the Pentagon’s 10-year budget.

Whole thing here.

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