For service chiefs, sequestration question doesn’t go away

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Commandant Gen. Jim Amos has been asked repeatedly about the threat the Marine Corps faces because of sequestration. (Associated Press photo)

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos has made two appearances in a room full of reporters over the last week, fielding questions about everything from the war in Afghanistan to the ongoing manpower drawdown in the Marine Corps.

Perhaps more frequently than anything else, one topic came up: What about sequestration?

It’s a tough topic. Anyone following public policy, politics or national security issues in Washington is well aware of the automatic federal budget cuts that are looming if the U.S. government doesn’t find another way to reduce its deficit. They were put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011, a federal statute that calls for $600 billion in budget cuts over 10 years at the Pentagon if no other deficit reduction agreements are reached by January.

There’s only so much a service chief can say on the subject, however. Amos has no power to stop sequestration. He only can say what it will do to his Corps. Over and over and over again, since journalists keep asking the same question.

On Tuesday, Amos said at the National Press Club that although sequestration would result in blanket cuts of about 10 to 11 percent across the Department of Defense in manpower, acquisitions and other accounts, it would be felt more in the Corps.

“Even though it would be proportionately applied to the Marine Corps, the effects would be disproportionate because our numbers are so small and our budget is so small that in some cases it would cause us to end up canceling programs and not being able to reset after 11 years of combat coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan…. Quite honestly, it would stop any kind of modernization. So it’s very, very dangerous.”

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About Author

I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

6 Comments

  1. Greetings,

    General Amos is correct, with regard to the Sequestration, and, how it would adversely affect America’s Corps Of Marines overall. The only other military service smaller than the Corps, is America’s Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard does not normally fall under the DOD, specifically, The Dept Of The Navy, except during a time of cinflict/declared war, where additional Sea Service personnel, and or, Equipment is required by the Navy Dept. That being said, I shall venture a guess here, and say that the USCG, as well as, the USMC, shall be forced to endure the measures, which shall be imposed upon these two military service branches, along with the other three military service branches, should an alternate plan/means, Not be developed, and, placed in motion, Sooner Than Later Mind You, in order to stave off, or, at least minimize, to a significantly lesser degree, the proposed federal budget cuts, which the entire DOD, and, the USCG would/shall face, come January 2013! With the up coming election, just around the corner, November 2012, shall be a pivital/key point in America’s history, with regard to exactly where our country’s course heading shall/might be, with regarding our country’s biggest head ache, which IS, the Fiscal Difficulty(s) which Lady Liberty has been facing, and, is presently facing, and or, may still be facing, after November 2012. If our country is to have a course heading change, then starting with the Presidency, our country’s Fiscal Head Aches may, and or, would/could be appropriately addressed, and, the plan of Action, which is could be developed from said address, of the Fiscal Head Aches to start with, would actually make/have a significant difference/impact, on just where our United States Of America, could Alter/RE-Direct/Reverse the the present course heading, of the funds required, to not only appropriately address our country’s present Fiscal State for starters, but to actually place the Needed Action(s) in Motion, in order to SAVE our country from the Fiscal Crisis, she faces presently, and, quite possibly, into Lady Liberty’s future! It is my believe, that should our country’s Fisal State be appropriately addressed, by other than, the people who are in their present position(s) within our country’s federal governmental body, then a Positive Fiscal State shall come to pass for America. This change would benefit each and every American citizen, which does include mind you, the DOD as a whole, and, the USCG as well! Thank you for your attention, and have a good day/evening.

    Sincerely,

    W.S. Lester

    America’s Corps Of Marines, Retired

    “SEMPER FIDELIS”

    To GOD, Country and Corps

  2. Greetings,

    General Amos is correct, with regard to the Sequestration, and, how it would adversely affect America’s Corps Of Marines overall. The only other military service smaller than the Corps, is America’s Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard does not normally fall under the DOD, specifically, The Dept Of The Navy, except during a time of conflict/declared war, where additional Sea Service personnel, and or, Equipment is required by the Navy Dept. That being said, I shall venture a guess here, and say that the USCG, as well as, the USMC, shall be forced to endure the measures, which shall be imposed upon these two military service branches, along with the other three military service branches, should an alternate plan/means, Not be developed, and, placed in motion, Sooner Than Later Mind You, in order to stave off, or, at least minimize, to a significantly lesser degree, the proposed federal budget cuts, which the entire DOD, and, the USCG would/shall face, come January 2013! With the up coming election just around the corner, November 2012, shall be a pivital/key point in America’s history, with regard to exactly where our country’s course heading shall/might be, with regard to our country’s biggest head ache, which IS, the Fiscal State/Difficulty(s), which Lady Liberty has been facing, and, is presently facing, and or, may still be facing, after November 2012. If our country is to have a course heading change, then starting with the Presidency, our country’s Fiscal Head Aches may, and or, would/could be appropriately addressed, and, the plan of Action, which could be developed from said address, of the Fiscal Head Aches to start with, would actually make/have a significant difference/impact, on just where our United States Of America, could mind you, Alter/RE-Direct/Reverse the the present course heading, of the funds required, to not only appropriately address our country’s present Fiscal State for starters, but to actually place the Needed Action(s) in Motion, in order to SAVE our country from the Fiscal Crisis, which she faces presently, and, quite possibly, into Lady Liberty’s future! It is my believe, that should our country’s Fisal State be appropriately addressed, by other than, the people who are in their present position(s) within our country’s federal governmental body, then a Positive Fiscal State shall come to pass for America. This change would benefit each and every American citizen, which does include mind you, the DOD as a whole, and, the USCG as well! Thank you for your attention, and have a good day/evening.

    Sincerely,

    W.S. Lester

    America’s Corps Of Marines, Retired

    “SEMPER FIDELIS”

    To GOD, Country and Corps

  3. Frank Gellenthin on

    I remember a time long ago when my 81’s Platoon couldn’t get peanut bulbs out of Barstow for our aiming stake lights.

    Solution: C-Rat cracker cans, boot blouse bands, and heat tabs.

    The Marine Corps will find a way to prevail at any level and get the job done.

    Semper Fi!

    Frank Gellenthin

  4. It is rare that a soldier ask the price for his life, but if he was to put it before donning the uniform then no nation can pay it, as nation is allways indebted.

    Salaries of soldiers should also be a bit higher than the civil counterparts as knowledge/ skill sets required to perform/ manage the tech eqpt, vagaries of job performance area and exacting standards of performance are allways higher than civil/ industry conterparts where time to react is enough and monotonity sets in due to same/ repetitive nature.

    Conscription is a good solution to solve the young need of forces. Using of thus matured manpower for civil industry/ Govt functions adds to nations maturity prospects/ growth.

    A nation which is able to spend resources in entertainment, Advts etc can and should spend equitable finances in Govt Public functions viz Defence/ Security, Education, Medical, Transportation, Infrastructure etc.

    Rest, history will judge the civilisation & its Governance for responding & evolving maturedly, progressively.

    Regards

    Cdr KS Jassal,

    91-8285612705

  5. W.S.Lester’s comment/essay, and or, analysis, leaves one/me eager for expanded/enhanced, and or, convolution of ideas, attitudes, and or, misconceptions, Sooner Than Later Mind You, as America’s Corps of Marines, to say nothing of America itself as Nation/our Country stands captivitous in Fiscal Difficulty. Lauds, and or, encomiums to/for said retired Lester and his verbalized/articulated wordplay which likewise should be retired.

    Walt Nygard

    Writer, Artist, Former Cpl., U.S.M.C.

    P.S. – Compliments to Frank Gellenthin for a dead-on-target response to the Gen. Amos article.

  6. Well who cares what Amos says cause he’s freaking gone and its about time ” Thank God For General now Commandant Mattis” Now the Corps will be back to what it use to be. I hope they shitcan Dumbford and that kiss ass SGTMJR Barrett too. Airwing Commandant get real I knew that kook couldn’t hack it. Look out all you Washington idiots Mattis is gonna kick ass and take names, God I can’t wait, he has one hell of a mess to clean up after Amos trashed this Corps, but if anyone could do it it’s Mattis a real Infantry Marine. SEMPER FIDELIS!!!!! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Amos.

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