According to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, hacking $500 billion across every defense program would end all major modernization efforts, including new intelligence technologies, combat ships, armored vehicles and fighter jets. Troops desperately need this equipment to meet the drone needs of our special forces and to replace a Navy that is smaller than it was on 9/11, tanks that were designed in 1980 and an Air Force fleet that is older on average than ever.
President Barack Obama’s new defense strategy proposes moving more forces to the Pacific to counter China, keeping constant surveillance on Iran, bolstering defenses against cyber attacks and continuing to pursue terrorist cells. This strategy assumes a smaller fighting force but one that is superbly equipped — which would be impossible under sequestration.
Not only would stripping our military of cutting-edge capabilities frustrate Obama’s defense strategy, it would leave our troops vulnerable to higher casualties by leveling the playing field for our enemies.
If Congress wants to protect our national security and our troops, it should stop budget sequestration.
— Retired Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Pinckney, United States Air Force
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.