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Roger Wicker: Friends, Foes Watching How America Handles Sequestration

Lawmaker Says Security, Defense at Risk

U.S. allies and adversaries are keeping a close eye on Washington as Congress faces a fiscal crisis that includes the nearly half-trillion dollar cut to defense spending under sequestration, according to a Republican senator from Mississippi.

Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has penned an article for RealClearDefense to outline his case for Washington to handle the fiscal matters now before the full effects of the cuts take precedence.

The cuts come at a time when the U.S. faces threats from North Korea, Syria and Iran, Wicker writes, adding he believes the cuts are affecting America's military readiness.

Seventeen Air Force combat squadrons have been grounded and the branch has cut more than 94,000 flying hours, according to Wicker, and he cites testimony from military leaders as evidence that the cuts have brought immediate effects.

It could take six months to bring those squadrons back to combat-ready status, those officials said.

Wicker writes the Pentagon faces a total $492 billion cut over the next decade under the sequester, which would come on top of the cuts it already must make under the Budget Control Act.

Bipartisan cooperation can help solve the problem and Wicker points to the Senate Armed Services Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2014 defense authorization bill as a first step toward getting both parties to work together.

More Stories By Tim Watson

Tim Watson supervises all media production at Executive Mosaic, a digital media company that provides insight, information and analysis on several industries, including government contracting.

He previously produced byline coverage with the economics team at USA Today and evaluated lending proposals for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Tim was born and raised in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business-Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a certificate in budgeting and finance from Georgetown University's School of Continuing Professional Education.

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