Amidst hyperbolic language about the effect sequestration would have on national security, General Martin Dempsey’s commentary in Congressional testimony last week sounded much more measured:
We would go from being unquestionably powerful everywhere to being less visible globally and presenting less of an overmatch to our adversaries. And that would translate into a different deterrent calculus and potentially therefore increase the likelihood of conflict.
Dempsey’s right that this conversation is about the scale of America’s enormous “overmatch” in military strength. And remember that this isn’t the first time he’s made the point.
Sequestration clearly is not the right mechanism for drawing down defense spending, but the United States could responsibly achieve similar savings by adhering to our historical build-down trends of modest cuts sustained over time.