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  • Obama on Sequestration: Pink-Slipping Military Readiness

    President Obama believes that the nation’s defense will remain strong despite a severe decrease in military resources and manpower. His optimistic view is wrong, however, as evidenced by the thousands of pink slips slated to hit the military’s industrial base within the next several months.

    President Obama’s unrelenting demand for defense budget cuts will ultimately lead to a severely hollow military. His unwillingness to deal with the current ramifications of sequestration, despite the advice of senior level government and military officials, is an example of the Administration’s disregard for a legitimate defense policy.

    Over the course of the next 10 years, over $500 billion will be slashed from the defense budget if the cuts from sequestration go into effect. Coupled with the already $487 billion long-term reductions from the Budget Control Act, the monumental effects of this bill will greatly hamper the ability of the military to meet its objectives both at home and abroad.

    Senior military officials have made alarming warnings over these cuts. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the impending cuts “unworkable” and “a disaster,” while Joint Chiefs chairman Martin Dempsey called the cuts an “unacceptable risk.” Rather than heed his advisors’ counsel, Obama has chosen to focus on enhancing entitlement spending, which gives the impression that national security is the White House’s lowest priority.

    For Obama, the consequences of sequestration, slated to go into effect January 2013, are wreaking havoc within the military community just in time for the presidential election. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that sequestration will “disrupt thousands of contracts and programs.” The complexity of the military’s acquisition process and its dependence on contractors will force companies to downsize and cause the government to pay steep fines for broken contracts.

    Proposed cuts are already causing defense industry executives to plan layoffs for highly trained and hard-to-replace personnel. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act mandates that employers inform employees of possible job termination 60 days before they are asked to leave. Workers will be given these notices several days before the elections—a move that could hurt the President at the polls.

    President Obama should take the lead in remedying the problems posed by sequestration by listening to military officials and overturning sequestration. It is his constitutional responsibility and duty, as commander in chief, to keep our nation safe. President Obama should take a clear look at entitlement reform and recognize that the fiscal crisis can be solved in ways that will not risk the security of theU.S.

    Suzanne El Sanadi is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Obama on Sequestration: Pink-Slipping Military Readiness

    1. In an article I wrote last October a possible scenario was foreseen based on Obama's remarks about the military in 2008. I don't discount him as being out-of-touch. On the contrary, I count him on page and verse with the agenda of tear down, http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-military-lamb

    2. Herbert Berwald says:

      Obviously there wil be layoffs and lost business as DoD changes its goals and objectives. But is it all bad? If the US is no longer willing to retain its current role as the defender of the world and moves to a mission of defending the US rather than providing military support to nations who are unwilling to provide for their own defense who is to say reducing defense spending is all bad? Why do we need $145 million dollar fighter aircraft? Why do we buy airplanes that are restricted in their role because of oxygen problems? After all oxygen has been used in airplanes for more than 90 years. Why do we need billion dollar bombers that are based in the US but require multi refueling support to fly to and return from a bombing mission while dropping few bombs? At least the Army and Marine Corps canceled programs that were obviously not going to be effectivel. In my mind there is plenty of room to be more practical in defense spending while reevaluating the mission of the military and our responsibility to those not willing to sacrifice some of their treasure for their own defense.

      • Why stop the reduction. Maybe, we can reduce the navy to wooden ships and our aircraft to biplane construction. We will be fine; besides we have gun rights and can handle any invasion from any modern army, right? Your reasoning seems to fit the extremist Libertarian view. It was the big stick that bankrupted the old Soviet Union and collapsed their hold on Eastern Europe; military buildup. Remember this? "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

        Ok, give a federal agency a budget and they can go wild with spending; checks and balances, old methods and wasteful spending should be eliminated. However, threats should be checked by being ready ahead of time not after the threat has materialized. Keep your eye balls peeled on China's growing and modern military. We are not living in the 1800's but the 21st century. Think of other nations as houses in a neighborhood; we live in that neighborhood with fences and locks and guns for a reason. No one wants a war and it is precisely why we must be ready for the worst…ahead of time.

        • SilverMoney says:

          Your view on the other hand sounds like a neocon. I'd take libertarian over neocon any day. Thanks

    3. Lloyd Scallan says:

      As much as I feel Obama is deliberately attempting to destroy this nation, we cannot blame only Obama for this debacle. Just remember, the gutless Republicans in Congress agreed to go along with the Dems on this one.

      • goon48 says:

        Obama is trying to crash the system, it's part of his MO, he is a puppet of George Soros.

      • O2BMe says:

        I don't believe anything can be got pass Harry Reed. He will not call any bill to the floor for discussion, and he is not up for re-election. If a bill is never called to the floor then no one can offer suggestions back and forth on a bill to try to make it a good bill and get it passed. Thus this problem or any other can be fixed. Where are the blue dog Democrats? My hope was in them.

    4. Bobbie says:

      Obama's too focused on his unconstitutional duties! He needs 4 more years to finish collapsing personal freedom and independence! He has no time to make responsible decisions that pertain to his oath of office!

    5. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      The House GOP had all the cards but really got snookered on this BCA. Now with these impending defense cuts, which are disproportionately high and not the real deficit problem, they all act like they had nothing to do with it. Boehner screwed up when he explicitly took the biggest bargaining chip, shutting down the government, off the table. Even if you aren't willing to do it, for Pete's sake don't say it!

      Congress needs more people willing to shut down this government when push comes to shove. Reagan did so in 1981 & 1984, and he was re-elected in a landslide. The House also needs a new Speaker. Bachmann, anyone?

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