The Pentagon, 'Sequester' and National Security

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The US plans to spend more on defense next year than the next 17 countries combined.  So why is Washington so worried about an automatic 10 percent cut? That's part of what's called "sequester," the deal made by both parties in August, when they failed to agree on an overall federal budget. Now, facing a deadline at the end of this year, Democrats and Republicans call it, "unthinkable," "devastating" and "deeply destructive." Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that would be "a disaster" for the Pentagon. Republican John McCain agrees, and so do both President Obama and Mitt Romney. Why, at a time when the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down and many Americans tell pollsters the US can't afford to be the "world's policeman?" Would the US suddenly be weaker? What about jobs? Is this the political club that could finally knock financial sense into the "military-industrial complex?"

Credits

Guests:
David Wessel - Brookings Institution - @davidmwessel, Kori Schake - Hoover Institution - @KoriSchake, Robert Zarate - Foreign Policy Initiative - @foreignpolicyi, Gordon Adams - American University / Foreign Policy magazine - @Gadams1941

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Evan George, Katie Cooper, Caitlin Shamberg