SEQUESTRATION

Defense Department discusses impending budget cuts

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently gave a press briefing where he discussed the findings of the Defense Department’s Strategic Choices and Management Review, which looked at the three main scenarios where budget cuts would be implemented, and weighed its options for each, according to FCW.

FCW reported the three scenarios to include President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget, “backloading” $150 billion in defense cuts for the next 10 years; the Budget Control Act, cutting $52 billion in fiscal 2014 and $500 billion over the next 10 years; and a scenario in between these two, with $250 billion of defense spending cuts over the next 10 years.

Hagel then outlined two approaches that could be taken in light of these cuts: “The basic trade-off is between capacity – measured in the number of Army brigades, Navy ships, Air Force squadrons and Marine battalions – and capability – our ability to modernize weapons systems to maintain our military’s technological edge,” FCW quoted Hagel as saying.

In the first scenario, the United States would operate with its technological capabilities intact, but would not be able to perform as many missions due to a smaller military; the other would allow for a military of the same power projection and presence, but one that is not as modernized, nor as cyber-developed, FCW reported.

“Cuts on this scale would, in effect be a decade long-modernization holiday,” Hagel was quoted as saying. To avoid further shortfalls, Hagel called on Congress to be willing to enact changes to compensation or adopt other management reforms and infrastructure cuts, such as those the Defense Department proposed in its fiscal 2014 budget, FCW reported.

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