At first blush, the sequestration provisions of the 2011 Budget Control Act don’t look like a big burden for the nation’s warfighters. The law reduces defense spending by $55 billion annually, which is barely a tenth of what the Pentagon is still able to spend each year when money for overseas contingencies is included. But look closer. Two-thirds of the mandated cuts are coming from technology spending, and one-third from readiness. Military pay and benefits are left largely untouched. What’s more, the cuts to research, development and procurement of weapons come on top of several previous waves of reductions in technology outlays that collectively wiped out many of the military’s next-generation combat systems. So sequestration is just the latest in a series of blows to America’s combat edge that threaten to cause military defeat in a future conflict. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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