Defense Officials Again Sound Alarm on Sequestration

February 13, 2013

Senior Defense Department officials warned Congress on Tuesday that the looming sequestration cuts represent a dire and unpre­cedented threat to the U.S. military, with the potential to harm everything from combat readiness at a time of dangerous international tensions to the Pentagon’s efforts to reduce military suicide.

“The wolf is at the door,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, appearing with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a morning hearing

Automatic reductions set to kick in March 1 would force the Pentagon to cut $46 billion from its budget over the next seven months.

The automatic cuts, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned, could leave U.S. military ­forces “degraded and unready,” adding during questioning that “it would be immoral to use the force unless it’s well-trained, well-led and well-equipped.”

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