Gen. Amos: ‘Dust hasn’t settled’ on sequester’s threat to Pacific pivot

“It’s yet to be seen how much of the Asia-Pacific strategy, which is really where the focus is, how much is going to be affordable when all the dust settles,” Amos said at a forum Thursday hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

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At the forum, Amos and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert both discussed the future of the Navy and Marine Corps living in a world of uncertainty surrounding the budget.

Greenert said things have not yet reached the point where the military cannot carry out its rebalancing to the Pacific.

He said one of the Navy’s biggest losses due to sequestration is its inability to “surge” when needed because ships are not receiving proper maintenance as operations funds are cut.

Both military leaders warned about the cuts halting new research and modernization programs that are needed to tune-up or replace a growing number of aging vehicles.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday outlining the impact of sequestration on the military in 2014, when the Pentagon’s budget would be cut by $52 billion.

He touched on many of the same issues as Amos and Greenert: where the military would suffer severe losses in training and the number of planes, ships and vehicles it could buy.

The Pentagon is still finishing up its strategic review that is expected to take a more detailed look at the budget situation and resulting military strategy in the coming years, whether sequestration remains.