July 23, 2015

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Once again, military leaders say sequestration is the cause of troop reductions

Policy once championed by Senator Lisa Murkowski is the cause of troop reductions in Alaska

ANCHORAGE: KTUU reports that Governor Walker traveled to D.C. in an attempt to reverse the Army’s decision to remove over 2,500 troops from Alaska. According to the report, military leaders told the governor that they preferred not to make the cuts, but sequestration has forced them to do so.

Sequestration was born out of the Tea Party’s debt ceiling antics. According to Alaska Commons, upon sequestration’s passage, Sen. Lisa Murkowski celebrated the policy and said, “The deal has real teeth — serious reforms, significant spending cuts, future spending caps and triggers requiring future action.”

Along with current military leaders, veteran groups have also spoken out against sequestration. The Veterans of Foreign Wars organization spoke out against sequestration and citied it as the cause of this month’s troop reductions.

In a press release the VFW stated, “Sequestration is the most significant military readiness and national security threat of the 21st century, and despite almost universal congressional opposition to it, no member of the House or Senate has yet introduced any legislation to end it.”

As early as 2014, the Army Chief of Staff warned about troop reductions due to sequestration. The Alaska Dispatch News reported that Murkowski “challenged” the idea that sequestration’s spending cuts are behind the troop reductions.

There does appear to be one way to stop sequestration cuts. If Congress is able to pass a budget with the President’s signature by October, then the troop reductions may be lifted. However, this appears unlikely, as Senate Democrats and the President have indicated that they will not pass a budget that contains the Republicans’ sequestration cuts.

Republicans appear to be unwilling to relent on sequestration, and according to Time Magazine, their inability to compromise has the country headed towards yet another shutdown.

Alaska has already been hit hard by sequestration once this year. In June, APRN reportedthat Murkowski voted “Nay” on funding for an icebreaker, because of sequestration’s spending limits.