Global Force Posture Under the Threat of Sequester
April 13, 2012
In a recent discussion on Department of Defense (DoD) budget reductions, we asked two dozen seasoned scholars and practitioners one simple question: does anyone disagree that we could cut defense spending further yet still preserve the essential capabilities we have today? Not one voice was raised in disagreement, despite repeated DoD statements that the $487 billion in budget reductions already proposed for Fiscal Years 2012–2021 are as much as can be safely cut.
That recognition is the good news. There is other news, however: additional reductions in defense spending are likely, whether through the automatic cuts of sequestration or the negotiated cuts of a congressional deal. The critical questions are therefore: How should we approach planning for such additional reductions? What capabilities must we retain or enhance? And for what purposes do we have this military anyway?