McChrystal: Sequestration Would Be ‘An Irresponsible Step’


Retired General Stanley McChrystal said that sequestration would be an “irresponsible step” Friday afternoon in an interview with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg TV. McChrystal warned that military preparedness and readiness could be put at risk because sequestration prevents the Pentagon from implementing the cuts in a practical manner:

MARK CRUMPTON: In Washington the Congress is dealing with the sequester – those pending automatic spending the cuts. If those are in fact enacted, tell us what that’s going to do to the  U.S. military – is it going to adversely affect military preparedness and readiness?

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL: The answer is yes, but let me explain. First, there have already been reductions that have been planned in a measured way starting under Secretary Gates. I think they are appropriate and I think they are moving in the right direction. The problem with sequestration is it was designed to be something we would never do. So what it does as I understand it, it cuts about 9.4 % of the defense budget out for 2013. If a decision is not made until let’s say march, then between march and the end of the fiscal year, October 1, about $57 billion to $60 billion has to be cut out of the defense budget. The problem is you cannot cut it out intelligently in that pressure, and also law stops you in certain places from cutting it, so you end up doing dumb things. So in my view, sequestration would be an irresponsible step.