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'Like Shooting Ourselves in the Head': The Implications of Sequestration on Defense

2y ago
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TRANSCRIPT: DREW DAVIS: Well, good afternoon and welcome to the Minuteman Building of the Reserve Officers Association. I'm Major General Drew Davis. I'm retired Marine officer and have the privilege of being the executive director of ROA. And it really is my pleasure to welcome you to a certainly provocative program that has, I think, the best title of any defense education forum we've done. Like Shooting Ourselves In The Head: The Potential Economic and National Security Implications of Sequestration. Which is a program co-sponsored by our defense education forums and by the Center for Security Policy. A couple of unabashed commercials, first of all. First, if you haven't already, I invite you to [CAMERA GOES OUT] and I know many of you have access to big sources like the [CAMERA AND MICROPHONE FADES OUT BRIEFLY] stories, well, we -- our computer algorithm scrapes all of the defense news and we have then human editors who daily pick the eight to ten most important stories. So this is actually not yet another email to you that you have to read. This will -- I guarantee you will replace, at times will replace other sources that you have on defense news. It's very good and it's free. In order to do it, all you do is go to www.smartbrief -- one word --/roa. And it also has a very nice mobile phone application as well. That's unabashed commercial number one. Commercial number two is that ROA is sponsoring and open to all national defense studies crews that will sail from Boston on August 19th and arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 21st, followed by a day of defense related tours of Halifax on August 22nd. And then you go home on the 23rd. It is a full program that our keynoter is -- General Mike Hayden -- who you all know as the Director of the CIA and the National Intelligence Agency. So he is going to lead us off. We have programs on the face of valor with two Medal of Honor recipients. And a Navy Cross recipient from the past war. We have programs on border security and the politics of -- or the security implications of the economy. And I believe even Mackenzie Eaglen is there, going to be a presenter. In the evening, we'll have the ROA Military Film Festival. Which our members have voted on. We'll have yoga classes, an optional fitness boot camp. Led by a Marine major, world caliber athlete. There's a spa on board the ship. It's going to be just a terrific program. So go on our www.roa.org website for more information on that. I came by a great quote this morning in a New York Times article that was actually stolen from National Affairs Journal, in an article by Jay Cost. And the quote reads, the days when lawmakers could give to some Americans without shortchanging others are over. The politics of deciding who loses what and when and how is upon us. And that I think is an adequate description of everything from the Wisconsin recall election to the elections of 2010 to the current debates on the national budget. It's always a distinct pleasure to welcome Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, to our facility. He's graced us a number of times over the years. We know him to be eloquent and hard hitting and he is a great American, opinionated, concerned patriot. I'm not going to give any more remarks today. The importance of the national debt, the deficits, and the looming specter of sequestration in January of 2013 -- actually the deadline is right on October 1st, because of the sixty day rule. I'm sure we may talk about that. The Secretary of Defense has referred to this as disastrous. But at the same time, he has directed his service chiefs not to plan any contingencies for additional cuts due to sequestration. I'm sure you'll talk about that. So the threat to our national security is -- it is monumental. If it kicks in, DOD will suffer another half trillion dollars in cuts over the next nine years in addition to the half trillion cuts that are already underway over the next decade. So with...