The size and immediacy of sequestration cuts to defense spending have “significant consequences” for homeland security and national interests, Christine Fox wrote in an op-ed for Defense News published Sunday.
In her piece entitled, “Stop Pretending Enforced Cuts Won’t Be Harmful“, the Pentagon’s former director of cost assessment and program evaluation (CAPE) highlighted the nearly three-and-a-half years she spent “in a near continuous quest to locate more defense savings” in that role.
Fox now consults the deputy secretary of Defense in an unpaid capacity in addition to her role as a senior adviser to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, according to the Defense News.
Prior to serving as director of CAPE, the close-to-30-year research and analysis manger served as president of the Center for Naval Analyses and was the scientific analyst to the Chief of Naval Operations.
In her op-ed, she points out that more than $1 trillion in defense spending will be mandated be cut in the decade after the passing of the 2011 Budget Control Act if its sequester and other provisions remain unchanged.
Her research and planning to minimize how those cuts would adversely affect U.S. national security culminated in a publication called the Strategic Choice and Management Review.
Per the op-ed, recommendations include:
- cutting the size of Pentagon headquarters
- identifying options for curbing compensation costs
- confronting stark tradeoffs between modernization, force structure or readiness
Imposing a 20 percent cut on the department’s top brass would mean higher percentage reductions to force structure, modernization investments and readiness efforts, Fox believes.
The SCMR team found that “pursuing even the boldest reforms and strategically riskiest options still leaves the department $20 billion to $30 billion above budget caps in sequester’s early years,” according to Fox.
For more of Fox’s insights into the current budget environment, click here to read her full piece.