Sequestration's Impact on America's Military (Page 3 of 3)

3. An important part of America's future military capabilities are replacing older equipment from past decades while adding new capabilities. Prime examples are acquiring newer attack submarines, advanced fighters like the F-35 and missile defenses. Would sequestration place any such acquisitions in jeopardy? Would the sequester endanger any other investments in future capabilities?

The sequester could certainly stretch out the fielding of weapon systems such as the F-35, a new bomber, and the Littoral Combat Ship, driving up program costs and possibly reducing the numbers of systems that we can ultimately afford to buy. It will also reduce the likelihood that DoD could take advantage of new technologies that could lead to future capabilities with very high payoffs. For example, with funding, DoD could soon field game-changing directed energy weapons such as high-power lasers that could defeat air and missile threats for pennies per shot compared to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars now needed to buy a single air defense missile. With an adequate budget, the U.S. military could also begin to replace current-generation UAVs that are not suitable for operations in contested airspace with stealthy unmanned vehicles that could fly from land bases and aircraft carriers to reach targets across distances that far exceed the ranges of manned fighters without refueling. Plainly stated, while the sequester will degrade our military’s current readiness, it also threatens its future preparedness to operate in a world that is becoming more, and not less dangerous.  

Mark Gunzinger has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Forces Transformation and Resources. He is the principal author or co-author of multiple Defense Planning Guidance directives, key strategic planning documents that shape DoD force planning. A retired Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot, he joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2004. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and served as Principal Director of the Department’s central staff for the 2005–2006 QDR. Following the 2006 QDR, he was appointed Director for Defense Transformation, Force Planning and Resources on the National Security Council staff.

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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