Whether in Washington, D.C., or Wichita Falls, Texas, people are wondering nervously how the automatic defense cuts of sequestration will impact the U.S. military.
While varied groups and individuals struggle to find solutions to preserve national security, one organization with significant influence in the matter—the Obama Administration—has refused to seriously address these concerns. In so doing, it fails to uphold its constitutional responsibility to provide for the common defense.
The Administration has recently championed national security victories such as the cyber-attack on Iran, the successful strike on Osama bin Laden, and the terrorist intelligence gained in the aftermath of that attack. No one is arguing the significance of these events. Yet throughout its tenure, the Administration has worked to reduce the size and scope of the military. What the President needs to realize is that the desire to cut now will have serious consequences for the future.
House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R–CA) recently released a video illustrating the catastrophic effects sequestration will bring to America’s armed forces. He urges the Senate and the Administration to come to the table and work with the House of Representatives to find a solution, stating, “Sequestration isn’t something that happens in January. It is happening now.”
The video shows men and women in uniform preparing for an unclear future, attending job fairs and worrying about the massive drawdown in end strength that sequestration will necessitate.
Even worse, these dramatic cuts will put additional stress on the men and women who are already struggling to perform with limited resources. While the Department of Defense and every other federal agency should be striving to run operations more efficiently, the cuts posed by the Administration go beyond trimming waste—they reduce the military’s ability to protect America.
These shortcomings are, regrettably, already being seen across the services. In the Army, soldiers have to improvise to provide armor for their vehicles. In the Air Force, father and son pilots fly the same aircraft 30 years apart. In the Navy, ships are breaking down and cannot sail. The service members of the Armed Forces willingly serve and protect the U.S. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure they can continue to do so.
These cuts are looming over everyone in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. However, the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) refuse to back down from their positions. Obama has made it clear that he will veto any attempt to overturn the cuts. Reid has indicated that he will not “back off the sequestration.” They need to understand what McKeon and other defense advocates have been arguing for months: The government needs to fulfill its constitutional responsibility and overturn these dramatic cuts before it is too late.