Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Tuesday he is no longer "hopeful" sequestration can be averted, adding that the measures the Pentagon is taking now are meant to "soften the blow."
"There was a time when I thought that sequestration wasn't likely, either," Carter said Tuesday at a hearing on the sequestration. "I used to say I was hopeful and optimistic, and then I said I was just hopeful, and now I'm not even hopeful."
To meet the expected $46 billion in cuts over the next seven months, the military has made different plans within the branches to scale back Naval deployments, Air Force flying hours, and Army training, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
"Even though it hasn't kicked in, in order to soften to the extent that's possible in the last few months of the year the effects of this, we're starting to take action now–that's what you see in the aircraft carrier, that's what you see in other things," Carter said Tuesday.