The defense budget implosion (VI): An exchange between McCain and the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs
- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.
For your defense budget files, from yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Gen. Dempsey:
SEN. MCCAIN: Which brings me again full circle. We have announced cuts without a commensurate assessment of the impact of those cuts. And in your view, a — what would an 800- (billion dollar) to trillion-dollar cut in defense spending over the next 10 years do to our readiness, General?
GEN. DEMPSEY: Senator, I haven’t been asked to look at that number, but I have looked — and we are looking at 400 (billion dollars) — and I would react in this way. Based on the difficulty of achieving the $400 billion cut, I believe 800 (billion dollars) would be extraordinarily difficult and very high-risk.