March 15, 2011
On behalf of the membership of the Association of the United States Army, I write to urge you to enact legislation that will prevent triggering sequestration in January 2013 as it pertains to the Department of Defense (DoD).
Our nation faces a wide range of national security threats around the world. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, recently testified, “I am living in the most dangerous time in my lifetime right now, and I think sequestration would be completely oblivious and counterproductive.” He further testified that should sequestration occur, equipment, maintenance and training accounts would take the brunt of the cuts and “then we’ve hollowed out the force.”
Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta described the implementation of sequestration as a “doomsday” scenario that would leave the United States essentially defenseless. “It’s a ship without sailors. It’s a brigade without bullets. It’s an air wing without enough trained pilots. It’s a paper tiger”, he said, while Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter called it the equivalent of “assisted suicide for the DoD.”
Ending the specter of sequestration must occur soon and must not occur on the backs of our federal civilian workforce who are already laboring under a two-year pay increase freeze. Defense contractors are already reducing workforces and budgets in anticipation of a sequestration trigger, and those initiatives ultimately will create negative ripples that will become problematic for DoD.
With sequestration less than ten months away, I urge you to direct immediate effort to a solution for this potentially devastating blow to our nation’s national defense forces.
GORDON R. SULLIVAN
General, USA Retired