As sequestration hysteria grips Washington, top uniformed officials at the Pentagon have joined Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in warning that across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect on March 1 will cripple the American military and endanger the effectiveness of soldiers, sailors, and pilots.
General Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff, has declared that the cuts—a $46 billion reduction in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget, barring a last-minute political compromise—could curtail training for 80 percent of ground forces. The Navy has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, leaving just one of the gigantic vessels in that volatile region, even as tensions continue simmering with Iran. The Air Force is talking about slashing flying hours, leaving two-thirds of its pilots below an acceptable level of readiness. And so on.