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Budget cuts to hurt Afghan war: Carter

Budget cuts to hurt Afghan war: Carter

Jan 26, 2013 - 09:04

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Across-the-board cutbacks, as agreed in the 2011 Budget Control Act, could hurt America’s military mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon, a senior Pentagon official warned on Friday.

If the sweeping budgetary reductions were implemented, he feared deferred maintenance on weapons and other equipment would hit the combat fitness of military units deploying to Afghanistan.

Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter told a select group of journalists in Washington that the Pentagon was also slashing base and equipment maintenance that accounted for id="mce_marker"5 billion annually.

The defense department is trying to find ways of ending the budget uncertainty resulting from the threat of $45 billion in spending cutbacks on March 1.

If Congress let the $45 billion in cuts to be enforced, the Pentagon would have to take more drastic steps which might trigger a pervasive crisis in readiness, the deputy secretary indicated.

Associated Press quoted Carter as saying hundreds of thousands of Pentagon’s civilian employees could face furloughs and salary cuts by April. They would lose one day of work per week until the end of September.

According to Reuters news agency, the Pentagon No2 said the defense department had begun laying off many of its 46,000 temporary and contract employees and delaying maintenance on aircraft and ships to slow spending in anticipation of the cuts.

"Obviously this is a terrible thing to have to do to our employees and to the mission. But it's necessary because it'll save $5 billion and we have to find that money," Carter told reporters.

PAN Monitor/mud


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