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Hagel threatens ‘dire consequences’ if sequestration cuts Pentagon budget in 2014

21st Century Wire says…

Sequestration cuts are another term for austerity inside the padded walls of the US government.

But in America, certain budgets are not allowed to be touched – including military, the CIA and the NSA digital spy network, because these areas are the engines which drive the strong arm of the global Anglo-American Empire worldwide. 

No surprise that Hagel has been sent to beg…

Hagel warns lawmakers about effects of Pentagon budget cuts in 2014

Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned key lawmakers on Wednesday that slashing $52 billion from the Pentagon’s budget next year if across-the-board budget cuts remain in effect would have “severe and unacceptable effects.”

The defense chief also said Congress should “become a full partner in ending business-as-usual practices” that defense officials think have bloated parts of the Pentagon budget unnecessarily, as lawmakers have worked assiduously to protect jobs and programs in their districts.

“We urgently need Congressional support in enacting difficult but necessary measures,” Hagel wrote in a letter to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the panel’s ranking member. “If the cuts continue, the Department will have to make sharp cuts with far reaching consequences, including limiting combat power, reducing readiness and undermining the national security interests of the United States.”

The Pentagon’s proposed 2014 budget was drafted under the assumption that the drastic reductions known as sequestration, which requires even cuts across the federal budget, would be replaced by a more flexible, sensible plan. But an alternative to sequestration is appearing increasingly unlikely because the consequences of cuts so far have been less dire than the ominous predictions federal agencies made last year.

Hagel’s letter was submitted in response to a request from Levin and Inhofe, who asked the Pentagon in May to outline how it would grapple with the $52 billion shortfall if sequestration remains in place after the end of the fiscal year.

Slashing payroll substantially next year is not a viable option, the Pentagon said in its assessment, because service members who are let go are entitled to separation payments, travel costs and unemployment insurance. This year’s sequestration cuts forced the Pentagon to furlough hundreds of thousands of employees for 11 days.

If it becomes clear that sequestration will remain in place for years to come, the Pentagon would need congressional approval to trim the size of the army and other services in future years. Such a possibility “raises the unfortunate prospect of forced separations of personnel who have recently served in Afghanistan,” the budget contingency plan said…

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