Pentagon Prepares for Sequestration Cuts

The sudden preparedness for defense cuts reveals the prior scaremongering as pure politics

by John Glaser, January 13, 2013

The Pentagon reportedly made preparations for mandatory budget cuts in just over six weeks, including imposing a hiring freeze and delaying some defense contracts.

As part of Congress’s sequestration deal, the set of budget laws last year that imposed large, automatic spending cuts if an agreement to balance the budget couldn’t be reached, the Pentagon is set to endure about $500 billion in budget cuts over the next ten years.

A decision on what to do about those “sequestration” cuts was postponed for at least two months in a “fiscal cliff” deal passed by Congress in early January.

The cuts had been expected for more than a year, but the Pentagon refused to prepare for them, urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow them to be exempt from sequestration, because, they claimed, it would harm national security.

But the proposed cuts to defense budgets are, frankly, puny. The harshest scenario for defense cuts would only put budgets back at about the 2007 level, and they aren’t even really “cuts” to defense spending; they are reductions in the rate of growth of defense spending.

Now that they’re preparing for the cuts, the scaremongering from the defense establishment about loss of employment and harm to national security has been revealed as plain old politics and concern over not being able to eat up more of the American tax payer’s resources, not genuine concern.

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