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Chuck Hagel Underscores Potential Impact of Sequestration on the National Defense

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke about the negative effects of the government’s $500 billion sequester as the Pentagon aims to save $40 billion in ten years, Reuters reported Wednesday.

David Alexander and Andrea Shalal-Esa write Hagel said additional budget cuts could limit military size as well as decrease weapons and security programs intended to enhance the capabilities of the armed forces.

The article says the DoD chief made the remarks on Wednesday as he unveiled results of the Strategic Choices and Management Review that was conducted to provide options so that the department can cope with the sequester.

“This analysis showed in the starkest terms how a 10 percent defense spending reduction causes in reality a much higher reduction in military readiness and capability,” Hagel said.

“The inescapable conclusion is that letting the (additional $500 billion in cuts) persist would be a huge strategic miscalculation that would not be in our country’s best interests,” he added.

Alexander and Shalal-Esa report the defense secretary indicated difficulties in slashing $500 billion in spending over a decade, excluding the $487 billion requirement of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that the Pentagon has long opposed.

Hagel revealed the SCMR found that attempts to make compensation and operational adjustments could only provide the DoD with about $100 billion in savings, a long way from the government’s target, according to Reuters.

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