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Leaders of three major military organizations are pleading with Congress to prevent a "perfect storm" of fiscal problems from forcing deep cuts in defense spending.
In a Jan. 23 letter, the president of the Association of the United States Army, chairman of the board of the Air Force Association and executive director of the Association the United States Navy jointly warn that national security is "severely threatened" by fiscal disagreements involving Congress and the White House.
The threat of across-the-board budget cuts, the looming expiration of short-term government funding and uncertainty about the size of the 2014 defense budget have combined, they said, to already delay training and maintenance programs and interfere with training. Worse problems are ahead, they warn.
"We ask you to enact legislation that will allow our military forces to maintain their ability to successfully defend our nation," says the letter, signed by retired Army Gen. Gordon Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of AUSA; retired Air Force Lt. Gen. George Muellner, AFA's chairman of the board; and retired Navy Rear Adm. Casey Coane, executive director of AUSN.
"By having to operate under the previous year's budget, DoD is insufficiently funded. Its ability to achieve mission success and defend our nation going forward will be severely threatened if Congress does not address the many concerns that make March a ‘perfect storm' of defense cuts," the letter says.