Carter, Dempsey Urge Sequester Repeal

Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey implored members of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday to undo sequestration once and for all. Carter said he shared the President’s desire to uphold the principles behind the Bipartisan Budget Act in this year’s defense legislation, saying it would be “unsafe and wasteful” to do otherwise. A funding profile based on BCA levels would mean wholesale changes in the “shape and size” of the US military over the next five years. As demands from the fight against ISIS to the actions of Russia in eastern Ukraine have piled more tasks on top of a US military reeling from sequester cuts, operational challenges have coupled with “restraints on our ability to reform,” Carter added, alluding to Pentagon proposals ranging from retirements to base closures, which Congress has repeatedly rejected. Carter emphasized he would not send US troops to war without adequate equipment, training, and support. However, if sequester continues, “I’m not afraid to ask the difficult questions, but our entire nation will have to live with the answers,” he said.