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Panetta Tells Senators Sequestration Would Devastate DOD

U.S. Department of Defense - November 15, 2011, By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2011 – If the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction cannot reach an agreement, the results would be devastating for the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta wrote in a letter to two senators yesterday.

The so-called supercommittee must reach agreement on debt reduction by Nov. 23. If they cannot do so, the Budget Control Act calls for “sequestration,” with the Pentagon budget absorbing most of the cuts.

DOD already is cutting $450 billion over the next 10 years, Panetta wrote to Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“These cuts are difficult and will require us to take some risks, but they are manageable,” Panetta wrote. “If the maximum sequestration is triggered, the total cut will rise to about $1 trillion compared with the fiscal year 2012 plan.”

If triggered, sequestration would begin in January 2013, Panetta wrote, noting it would add $500 billion to $600 billion to already-planned cuts. The fiscal 2013 budget would be cut by $100 billion. While military personnel probably would be exempted, the secretary added, the rest of the cuts would come from other parts of the DOD budget, and no major weapon program would be exempt.

 

To view the full document at the source publication, go to http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=66094.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.