Troop cuts and civilian layoffs are imminent unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert another round of automatic budget cuts this fall, according to the Pentagon’s No. 2 official.
Ashton Carter, the deputy Defense secretary, told USA TODAY on Monday that unless Congress and the White House reach a deal to avert the cuts, the Pentagon will have to make a series of tough and dangerous cuts in military and civilian personnel. The cuts, known as the sequester, call for about $500 billion in defense cuts through the end of the decade.
Advertisement – story continues below
“We can’t rule out reductions in the civilian workforce and involuntary separations of military personnel,” Carter said. “That’s something none of us wants to do. But again if you have to have reductions this fast and this steep you have to go where it is possible to get money that fast. Those are not the most strategically and managerially sound places.”
The Pentagon recently completed a review of military-spending alternatives directed by Carter that forecast an austere future complete with troop levels not seen since 1940.
Last week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the Strategic Choices and Management Review indicated a smaller force with modern weapons or a bigger one with older gear.
Read more at USA Today. By Tom Vanden Brook.