Whoa: Army slashes 8,700 jobs as budget cuts kick in

posted at 7:00 pm on December 9, 2011 by Tina Korbe

First, these aren’t the cuts triggered by the Super Committee failure. They’re cuts to meet funded targets established by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and President Obama’s budget. Still, this isn’t good news. If DOD has to eliminate 8,700 civilian jobs just to meet pre-Super-Committee cuts, what will the Department have to eliminate when the Super Committee cuts take effect?

More on this move from The Washington Post:

The Army said Thursday it is moving forward with plans announced in July to cut about 8,700 positions, using a mix of early retirement offers, buyouts and attrition to trim the jobs by the end of the fiscal year in late September. …

The cuts will come in 37 states at 70 different locations across eight commands and agencies with nearly 90 percent of the cuts taking place within the Installation Management Command, Army Materiel Command and the Training and Doctrine Command. Most of the cuts are likely to occur in Virginia and Texas, where most of the DOD’s civilian workers are located. …

The failure of the bipartisan debt supercommittee means the Pentagon budget could be cut by a total of $1 trillion over the next decade — what defense leaders warn is a “huge” cut that would amount to a 23 percent reduction in the defense budget, resulting in furloughs and layoffs of “many” civilians and a reduction in the size of the military. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has warned that the cuts could be “devastating” for the Pentagon, creating a “substantial risk” that the country’s defense needs might not be met.

As always, I marvel at the manifold, ridiculous ways in which this administration — and, yes, a cooperative Congress both pre-2010 and post-2010 — is willing to deepen the deficit at the same time that it refuses to ensure adequate defense funds. Sure, let’s cut waste in the Department of Defense — but, then, let’s reinvest in modernization.

Meantime, at the very least, if politicians aren’t going to really have the backs of our men and women in uniform, they could at least stop using gimmicky “war savings” to fund other deficit-deepening measures. Sometimes, it seems to me the only real cuts the government is capable of making are to defense. We’re through the looking glass …

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