As Washington girds for automatic spending cuts, it is already clear the U.S. is going to pay a price for the political fumbling that led to sequestration.
“It just perpetuates the idea that we just can’t seem to get our act together,” said Adm. William Fallon (Ret.), former Central Command and Pacific Command commander and an American Security Project board member, in an interview. Not only does sequestration impact America’s ability to compete globally, it also undercuts the country’s standing with our allies.
Already, within the international business community there is a perception that America’s competitiveness is slipping. The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 7th on its Global Competitiveness Index, down from 1st in less than five years.
In an interview, Adm. Fallon pointed out that sequester will likely cost the country more money in long term. Deferring maintenance of ships and aircraft will end up requiring spending two to three times as much money as originally would have needed to be spent, he said.
“It’s wasted money, money not going to the right places. That’s the legacy sequester is going to leave,” he said. Military readiness is also going to be impacted, he noted, echoing a point recently driven home by the Pentagon’s top officers.
Shoring up America’s education system so that it offers a real foundation for success and getting the country’s budget closer to being balanced are critical.
“If we can get a grip on these two things I think we’d be well on the way to putting ourselves back where we ought to be,” he said.
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