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February 06, 2013

Top Headline Comments 2-6-13

Happy Tuesday.

A couple of people have pointed out this Veronique de Rugy piece to me, one favorably and one very not. I tend to agree with the fellow who thinks she's whistling past the graveyard.

Now, sequestration may be the thing to do. But we should at least be honest about what's going to happen if we do it. De Rugy completely minimizes the disruption these indiscriminate cuts would cause this year by arguing that funding will largely be restored in future years. As someone much smarter than me remarked, this is "akin to arguing that it's okay to stop breathing for six straight months, because hey, we'll just breathe twice as often *next* year."

The Army, for example, is planning to simply not train 78% of combat brigades. You better believe that's going to affect military readiness. Among other things, they're also going to cut back on pilots -- even the ones they keep won't get enough flying time to meet proficiency reqs. Furloughs will be the order of the day. And the effort to ship equipment home from Afghanistan will stop.

Suggesting that "post-war reductions of defense spending are common practice," as de Rugy does, is a gloss. It avoids the real issue. These indiscriminate cuts are nothing like the well-considered "builddowns" she mentions. They won't feel like those other "builddowns" either. Not for the men and women in uniform and not for the thousands of civilian DOD employees either.

I'm not opposed to defense cuts; I am opposed to pretending that the sequester is going to be a peachy time. Maybe we have to eat this bullet; let's not act like it'll have no effect on our war-fighting capabilities. That takes the sequester from "unfortunate reality" to "dangerous self-deception."

Update: I have been informed by someone who claims to know that it is, indeed, Wednesday and not Tuesday. I, um . . . have to go. Tawk amongst yaselves.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:49 AM

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