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Defense Sequestration Will Lead to Weakness

2:16 PM, Apr 19, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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President Obama likes to say that a strong America abroad rests on a strong America at home. What he and his administration continue to ignore, however, is that a prosperous America at home has in no small way rested for decades on America’s global military preeminence.  

F-22 Raptors over Southwest Asia

F-22 Raptors over Southwest Asia

It’s preeminence that has kept the great powers at peace and ambitious rogue states from disrupting the international order. But unless the Budget Control Act of 2011 is in some fashion overridden or amended, the automatic “sequester” (cut) of $500 billion in defense spending mandated by the law will definitely put that preeminence at risk. Coming on the heels of over $800 billion already having been sliced from the military’s budget the past three years, the new cut will likely result in the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest fleet since 1915, and the smallest tactical fighter force in the history of the Air Force.

Republicans in the House and Senate have put proposals forward for avoiding this disaster by offering up other savings from the federal budget.  But, so far, the president and the majority of Democrats in Congress have shown no interest in those proposals—instead, holding the military’s future and America’s long-standing global advantage hostage to their goal of raising taxes.

In an effort to put the facts, figures, and likely economic and strategic consequences for letting the sequester happen, the House Armed Services Committee has put together an invaluable “Sequestration Resource Kit,” making it available here

There is plenty to chew on here, with charts and graphs on the defense budget, separate papers on the myths surrounding defense spending, the impact of the sequester on the military, its impact on the economy and the industrial base, and highlights of congressional testimony and public commentary on the serious downsides for not preventing this next round of defense cuts.  

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