Panetta Issues Dire Warning on Sequestration

by Eliana Johnson

 

Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Benghazi attack, outgoing secretary of defense Leon Panetta took the opportunity to issue a dire warning about the impact sequestration would have if the Congress allows it to take effect. “We have got to end the cloud of budget uncertainty,” Panetta said, warning that the cuts triggered by sequestration will prompt “the most significant readiness crisis in more than a decade.” 

Those cuts, Panetta explained, would force the military to redirect funds currently devoted to readiness and maintenance. “This will badly damage our national defense and compromise our ability to respond to crises in a dangerous world,” he said, and urged Congress and the administration to take action to avoid the sequestration. “We have a responsibility, and I take that responsibility seriously, to do everything we can to protect our citizens,” he concluded. “That responsibility, however, rests with both the executive branch and the Congress. If we work together, we can keep our Americans safe.”