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Randy Forbes: Nat’l Defense Panel Review Highlights Sequester’s ‘Problems’

Rep. Randy Forbes
Rep. Randy Forbes

The congressionally-chartered National Defense Panel has released a report calling for the repeal of the budget sequestration, a view that Rep. Randy Forbes agrees on, Breaking Defense reported Thursday.

Sydney Freedberg Jr. writes that Forbes highlighted the panel’s assessment that increased defense spending is needed to address the “widening gap” between the U.S. military’s capabilities and emerging global threats.

The assessment was in response to this year’s Quadrennial Defense Review, labeling sequestration a “serious strategic misstep” and recommending a larger budget particularly for the Navy and Air Force.

Freedberg reports that while NDP enjoys bipartisan support and reflects the views of the House Armed Services Committee regarding sequestration, some analysts believe the assessment may be ignored due to ongoing debt concerns, among other things.

“It’ll be required reading for people already interested in defense, but I’ll be surprised if it changes anybody’s position in any way,” said Maren Leed, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Freedberg noted that the panel consists of retired generals, former Defense Department officials, a retired ambassador and former armed services leaders.

“They acknowledge that even if we put the resources [toward the threat], we may not be able to stop that . . . but if we don’t put the resources there, we don’t stand a chance of stopping that,” Forbes told Freedberg.

Forbes also pointed out that national defense is the most affected from the sequestration.

“[It] points out in this review is that the problems that sequestration brings to national defense dwarf any problems that sequestration may bring to other aspects of the budget,” he said.

“And therefore if you can’t get rid of sequestration across the board for everything, you sure by golly better get rid of it as relates to defense.”

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