Joint Chiefs call on Congress to call off sequestration

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The Joint Chiefs for Staff for the U.S. Military have sent a letter to Congress warning that if they do not stop sequestration, the United States will be left with a hollow force.

The letter, reported on by Politico.com’s Morning Defense blog highlights the concerns of the nation’s top military brass.

Defense contractors are bracing for about $50 billion in more defense spending cuts if Congress does not address sequestration by March. Washington elected to create a budget control measure that automatically culls $1 trillion in federal spending over the course of a decade if lawmakers cannot find a way to cut spending through a budget agreement. The cuts were to begin this year, but Congress voted to delay implementation until March, presumably to give them more time to work out an agreement.

The JCS letter was praised, (this is sort of a ‘no duh’ sentence) by the Aerospace Industries Association, which agrees with the assessment.

“The Defense Department will be forced to cut training, furlough civilian personnel and raid investment accounts,” the AIA said in a release Wednesday. “Sequestration will render our defense strategy unexecutable and leave us with a hollow force incapable of resetting capabilities or responding to emerging national security dangers.  It will also cause massive disruption in the business world as program contracts are renegotiated, triggering layoffs and sending unit costs through the roof.

“Worst of all, it endangers the ability of future generations to address the security issues of the future.  We join the Chiefs in urging Congress to take immediate action on a legislative solution that President Obama can sign which preserves a military force that is second to none.”

The AIA’s membership includes UTC’s Sikorsky, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand, GE Aviation and Kaman Aerospace, among a host of other important Connecticut companies that employ tens of thousands.

Rob Varnon

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