Sequestration wouldn’t be scary if the government hasn’t proved itself incapable of efficiently managing its funding and money.
Defense officials have warned that sequestration is dangerous to national security. Sen. John McCain vowed to fight sequestration on the Hill. But, sequestration has been underway, and some pain has been dealt and, also, thanks to continuing resolutions – some pain avoided and reshuffled. The Pentagon is a bureaucracy that has billions of unaccounted funds. Sequestration looks as dangerous as the current funds being squandered today. But is the threat as disastrous as many have come to believe?
It might depend how those cuts are implemented and managed at the Pentagon. Unfortunately, that might be where the deeper, underlying issue lies. Bureaucratic inefficiency could be an underlying cause that has necessitated the cuts in the first place. But, overall, is Sequestration the boogey man many of us fear, including myself? The answer might be yes and no. The PEOTUS applauded the announcement of sequestration cuts. But, now, it looks like he may prefer to increase spending. What’s needed is probably a mixture of increased funding for necessary and cutting edge projects and the retirement or shrinking of funding to programs we don’t need or are mismanaged and require further review.
Is the sequester an unstoppable monster? Politico doesn’t seem to think so in their latest article entitled, “The Sequester Monster Myth.” But, there are real hardships on the horizon. I’ll speak from a place of personal experience. The Special Forces Regimental sergeant major toured every group to speak to the teams. He probably both missed the fellows, appreciated the teams and wanted to connect – and came with a real warning. His warning was simple, money was drying up and we couldn’t just inhale equipment and funds like we had in the past. That was the basic jist of the conversation and I slowly saw that becoming a reality.
What’s actually scary and could turn the sequester into a monster – is that the Pentagon is notoriously not transparent about spending with Congress. Yet, it is Congress who is making the cuts and the ultimate authority. I’ve heard of funding getting displaced over simple rivalries between branches of service, affecting the real lives of service members. When things look so abstract from the 30,000 foot level of the Pentagon, the daily lives of soldiers are overlooked, or not considered at all.
Because the Pentagon is planning each fiscal year and many years into the future. They’re policy driven with political decisions leading the charge. It’s an enormous boat and no one quite understands its buoyancy. For that reason, if cuts are made that weren’t expected, planned for, or worse yet, are dismissed to the point that they cause pain – it could be detrimental for the daily and regular lives of a great many service members.
Featured image courtesy of CSPAN