Pentagon Calls on Congress to Make a Budget

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey / AP

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey / AP

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Top military leaders warned Congress that if a defense budget agreement is not made then the nation’s military will face serious problems, according to the Associated Press:

“We are on the brink of creating a hollow force,” said the letter signed by the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and National Guard, as well as the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Defense experts previously warned that across-the-board defense cuts would leave the armed forces ill prepared for future conflicts.

When Congress failed to reach a deal on spending and the deficit, known as sequestration, the cuts were rescheduled for March 1. If changes are not made the Pentagon will face up to $500 billion in cuts over a decade.

[Defense Secretary Leon Panetta] told a Pentagon news conference that the threat of drastic spending cuts triggered by failure to reach a debt-reduction deal by March, coupled with Congress’ failure to pass a 2013 defense budget, is creating “a perfect storm of budget uncertainty.”

“We have no idea what the hell’s going to happen,” he said. “All told, this uncertainty, if left unresolved by the Congress, will seriously harm our military readiness.”

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