Looming Battles Over Pentagon Spending Cuts

Looming Battles Over Pentagon Spending Cuts

Confirmation hearings for former Sen. Chuck Hagel begin today. If approved as Secretary of Defense, he'll take office in the middle of a possible sequester fight. A panel joins Diane to discuss what possible spending cuts could mean for national security.

The Senate Armed Services Committee begins hearings today on the controversial nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. If confirmed, one of the first things he will face at the Pentagon is a looming budget crisis on March 1. That is when across-the-board spending cuts would kick in, unless Congress and President Barack Obama agree on a plan to reduce the federal deficit before then. The effects of sequestration could be compounded later in March if Congress fails to pass a 2013 defense appropriation bill and extends the continuing resolution instead. Hagel says the cuts would be “devastating” to the Pentagon and harm military readiness. A panel joins Diane to discuss uncertainties over defense spending and how they could affect national security.

Guests

Gordon Adams

professor at the School of International Service at American University, fellow at The Stimson Center, and former senior White House defense budget official in the Clinton administration.

Thomas Donnelly

defense and security policy analyst, director of the Center for Defense Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and co-author of "Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields."

Kate Brannen

defense reporter at Politico.

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