Sequestration's Impact on America's Military
Image Credit: The White House (Flickr)

Sequestration's Impact on America's Military


The Diplomat's editor Harry Kazianis spoke with Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment Senior Fellow Mark Gunzinger concerning Sequestration and its possible effects on America's pivot to Asia.  

1. As Sequestration looms, America has made a commitment to "pivot" or "rebalance" to the Asia-Pacific. One part of this is shifting military assets into the Pacific. In an era of greatly reduced resources, what impact will this have on the defense component of the pivot in terms of readiness and available manpower if forces are needed in a crisis (defense or non-defense related aka tsunami or earthquake etc.)?

Major cuts to the defense budget will impact the U.S. military’s readiness to respond to crises in all geographic regions. The impact will be more significant if the Defense Department is forced to make uniform percentage reductions across its programs without regard to its strategic priorities, which is what the sequester will do unless Congress acts to modify the Budget Control Act of 2011. It is highly likely that sequestration could delay Asia-Pacific rebalancing initiatives that DoD might pursue. For example, funding may not be available to harden overseas military facilities to ballistic missile attacks, or establish new locations that U.S. forces could disperse to in the event of a crisis. It could also reduce exercises and training activities the U.S. military undertakes with our Pacific allies as part of an overall strategy to maintain regional stability. As for shifting more assets to the Asia-Pacific, a sequester will likely cause DoD to revisit its timing for doing so, especially if it results in significant cuts to the overall size of our nation’s air and naval forces.

David Rocourt
March 2, 2013 at 04:19

When looking at the big picture, what takes shape is a vast array of discourse rather than actual threats to the U.S. The power that the U.S. holds, in terms of influence and possitioning, far exceeds that of any of the mentioned threats. Therefore, it will take far more than budget cuts to disrupt the objectives of this super power.

February 27, 2013 at 11:17

mata hari:

You can't be that ingnorant????  Do you remember 9-11?  Who is threatening the U.S.?  Take your pick!  If you live in this country and enjoy the freedoms our military protects on a daily basis do not post comments that make the U.S. out to be the "bad guy"

Devindra Sethi
February 26, 2013 at 22:27

A balanced column on the likely future. USA has to spend smarter. Focus on areas of concern as the rebalance strategy has been indicated by the political leadership. Maritime Diplomacy is now upfront and centered, especially as the TPP initiative is making strides. The coming oil & gas boom must be export oriented too with effect from 2014. Accordingly imports will drop and revenues will increase. This can provide for new funding of industries related to exotic technologies covered in the article. Anti access systems being focussed on by disruptive powers must be targeted by USA at their launch pads & support systems.That is the best disruptive approach and will render their effectiveness to below par for the course.Financially speaking give partners and likely allies access to new technologies being developed rather than Cold War systems. A Lend – Lease Programme as fashioned by President Roosevelt in the early forties for the UK, to put forward an example, will ensure democracies of the Asia -Pacific / Indo- Pacific, can assist in troubled times to make the world a safer place.      

February 26, 2013 at 19:19

Too many bad guys–  Islamist terrorists, Iranian mullahs, African crazy Al-Qaida followers, North Korean lunatics, Venezuelian Bolivarian revolutionaries,not speaking about totalitarian Red China ( for how long, though?) and Putinist neo-Imperial and over-authoritarian unpredictable Russia with thousands nuclear weapons

mata hari
February 26, 2013 at 01:29

Why does the US need so many klling machines for?  Who is threatening the US?  It is a stupid issue and an even stupider question that shouldn't be asked.  The US should turn its swords into plough shares.

February 26, 2013 at 00:49

Even if U.S military budget is cut, U.S will still be the no.1 military spender in the world.

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