For a year, the threat of sequestration, automatic across-the-board budget cuts, has loomed over the military. However, despite the concerns over the multi-billion dollar reductions, few specifics were known about what exactly would get slashed. But a new report from the White House removes some doubt by detailing what would be cut from the military should sequestration go into effect in January, Stars and Stripes reports.
The report, released on Friday, revealed that the Department of Defense would cut about 10 percent of its total budget. Though the plan did not go into specifics over which programs would be eliminated, it did identify how much money would be taken from certain areas. For instance, health programs would be cut by about $3.3 billion and the purchase of items such as military vehicles and weapons would drop by $505 million. The cuts would come to about $54.6 billion total, but are just the first step in a 10-year reduction that would total nearly half a trillion dollars.
Sequestration was included in last year's Budget Control Act because lawmakers thought it would give Congress an incentive to reach a budget deal and avoid the implementation of the cuts. However, a compromise has been hard to find and legislators are running out of time before the cuts take place.
Though the White House has come out with a report, some members of Congress have criticized it for lacking detail. Furthermore, the Pentagon said that even though the threat of sequestration inches closer, it will not be planning for cuts. However, some say doing so may be misguided.
"It's not too late for the Defense Department to start planning, but it's starting to get close," David Berteau, director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Stars and Stripes. "You can manage these cuts, but only if you plan for it. And they certainly aren't planning for it to the extent they need to."
Aside from hitting the military, there are some concerns that sequestration could also be damaging to the Department of Homeland Security. Among the most significant cuts will be a proposed $580 million to the Federal Emergency Management Administration and reductions to the Transportation Security Administration, according to Government Security News.