To the editor:
Our national security could be in jeopardy if the $500 billion in sequestration defense cuts are implemented. Our military had to absorb $80 billion in prior cuts and is now cutting $487 billion over 10 years to comply with the Budget Control Act.
The $487 billion in cuts translates into the Army reducing its forces by 80,000 soldiers over the next five years. The Marines will cut 20,000 troops. Other cuts include early retirement of ships with the possibility of having 11 carrier battle groups instead of the 12 needed; the retirement of the Air Force A-10 Warthog aircraft; and the possible closure of our only tank production facility in Lima, Ohio.
These cuts are occurring while leaving the Pentagon’s civilian workforce of 750,000 unscathed. The Department of Defense added 62,000 civilians during the past four years.
If the additional $500 billion in sequestration cuts are implemented, over 1 million civilian full-time jobs with contractors, sub-contractors and ancillary businesses will be lost. The unemployment rate could increase 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent and the U.S. gross domestic product could decrease by $85 billion.
The Obama administration and Congress have to find other ways to reduce the deficit without adversely impacting our national defense.
Donald A. Moskowitz