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WaPo on Defense Cuts: 'Would Be an Unconscionable Act of Political Irresponsibility'

4:16 PM, Nov 7, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Even the Washington Post is beginning to worry about the defense cuts that might come out of the supercommittee. In a recent editorial, the Post writes:

SINCE THE congressional supercommittee is reportedly at an impasse, let’s hope its members have used some of their idle time to catch up with the testimony of the nation’s military chiefs at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday. The chiefs were asked to assess what would be the consequences if $600 billion in across-the-board cuts were imposed on the defense budget — a sequestration currently required by law in the event the supercommittee fails to agree on a debt reduction plan or Congress fails to pass it.

Their answers were blunt: “Cuts of this magnitude would be catastrophic to the military,” testified Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, a former Iraq commander. “My assessment is that the nation would incur an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk.”

The Post's editors conclude: "Congress set this bomb in place when it agreed in the summer that half of $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be assessed to defense if a debt reduction plan failed to pass this year. Now it has heard from senior commanders just how much damage its explosion would cause. It would be an unconscionable act of political irresponsibility to allow their predictions to come true."

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