Bracing for potential sequestration cuts in defense
What programs are on the chopping block?
- Duration 5:56
- Date Feb 7, 2013
What programs are on the chopping block?
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Tonight in March 1 -- -- right now some looming automatic budget cuts are set to kick in at three weeks from tomorrow already having an impact on the nation's defense that we have -- coming up on March 1 adjustments need to be made before then.
To fit what we expect to see and march 1 which is -- seek sequestration happen.
Officially -- -- the Pentagon is reducing from two to one the number of aircraft carriers and not hottest part.
And the world really the top global hot spot the Persian gulf the world's most strategic shipping lane for oil and of course.
Close to people that we like to keep an eye on.
A navy brass processor to ground the blue angels -- elite flights lot of popular mainstay that.
Has entertained generations of Americans of all ages a key recruitment tool for the navy.
Has it really -- come into this is this a reality that we're facing departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sounding the alarm on these -- In -- speech at Georgetown University yesterday.
Make no mistake.
If these cuts happen.
There will be a serious disruption.
In defense programs in a sharp decline in our military readiness.
We have already begun.
An all out effort to plan for how to operate under such a scenario.
But it's all also very clear that there are no good options.
-- -- -- checked Nash served more than 25 years as a naval aviator and soap and captain we wouldn't read through those.
Those stories and it's difficult to really understand what does that mean for us and for our national security how would you explain that.
Well what it means Janet is that there there are two ways to do something you can do it in a Smart.
Way or you can just -- do it poorly.
And react sort of -- knee jerk thing and I spent three years in the Pentagon doing budget planning and everything back in the in the mid to late ninety's.
And we had a saying that you want it real bad you get it real bad.
And right now they want it real bad and it's gonna go with bad -- much attention at how much does this affect our national security.
Well what's going to happen -- you're going to see a pull back.
In our expeditionary forces in particular which is the navy in the Marine Corps.
The USS Harry S Truman a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and Gettysburg which is a cruiser -- set to deploy a tomorrow.
Four what was probably going to be an eight to ten month deployment into the Persian gulf.
Because we had up until this point -- had a requirement.
To have two carrier battle group presence in that fifth fleet area of responsibility.
Well they told me yesterday.
Never mind all the work -- she went through all the planning.
You're deployments on hold so now you've got all these people and their family family spend this asset these national assets leaning on appear.
Because we don't know that we don't have the money to deploy them and the threats not going down.
We're not there if we don't -- we don't have this extra aircraft carrier for seventy years -- not gonna have -- in the Persian gulf.
Then -- who fills that void.
Well that's great question and I go back to as senator now secretary of state Kerry.
Who wagged his finger if you -- means the other day and told them -- they don't stop working on their nuclear program that the international community is gonna be very upset what.
And at the same time we're standing down carrier groups that are supposed to go to that very area.
You know who's gonna fill the gap the Iranians are going to fill the gap the people who we are trying to keep in check.
Are going to feel there are going to fill that gap because there is no longer that restraining factor on.
So it's not just the president's and soft -- the message.
As you're talking about as well the message -- -- around the world and you know we would mention the blue angels blue angels -- -- as much you know as part of national security.
Directly is -- -- aircraft carrier but they do in the way that they inspire patriotic spirit they're recruiting tool a lot of us have seen them.
And I did -- rounded that the -- -- San Francisco is always a big.
And then to see them -- You we think about them going away thank.
If it does keep you apart as a little -- captain -- kids.
Inner -- maybe something extra -- at the same time it it doesn't.
Necessarily feel good -- what -- tell us how this you know plays to the reality we're really facing when it comes in the military in back to cats.
Well the cost of operating the blue angels.
Pails in comparison.
Two what we're spending on defense we're spending over half a trillion dollars a year on defense.
And the blue angels piece of that -- the air force thunderbirds are the the army golden -- that.
That is what.
But gets out there he gets in the minds of young Americans where they -- like you're talking about your experience.
Where they see that he may -- that's the thing that Pete gets them that first interest.
In serving the country getting involved in the military so when you cut back on those program she could say well look if we can't afford to put a carrier in the Persian gulf.
Well then by goodness we cannot afford to be flying around a bunch air show airplanes will guess what.
When you start taking apart that whole structure -- -- you get out there and you start eating the seed corn where you don't bring in the next generation.
That's when you lose suction on the head of the -- And that's when everything really goes wrong because as -- force ages.
The military profession.
Is in the -- profession of arms and he is the purview of young people not old people.
Give us lasting about cats and national that's -- back to talk more about your experience in the Pentagon as well and where you to see some opportunity to make cuts maybe now with the aircraft carrier.
There are elsewhere without you know and we'll probably need no longer conversation always -- -- long conversations kept Nash it's great to have you on the program thank you nice to be with you Jenna.