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Navy secretary calls impending defense cuts ‘mindless’

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Navy Secretary Ray Mabus speaking in Seattle Thursday.

SEATTLE — If Congress does not come up with a budget agreement soon, big spending cuts will begin in March, including heavy reductions to the military. The so-called “sequestration” will hit the state of Washington, which has a big military presence.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who visited Seattle Thursday, had a pretty blunt word for the impeding military cuts, which could total $9 billion for his department alone in 2013. He called them “mindless.”

He’s warning Congress and the country that real damage will be done.

“We will be a less-ready service,” Mabus said.

Cuts will include key areas such as training and maintenance.

“It threatens us now, but it threatens in the future,” he said. “You saw a good example of what can happen yesterday when the secretary of defense announced that the (USS Harry S.) Truman (aircraft carrier) and her strike group would be delayed going to Central Command.”

Mabus said the Navy is willing to do some belt-tightening, but it should be less severe and less arbitrary.

“We get no say in how money is allocated,” he said. “It’s just sliced off.”

Gov. Jay Inslee echoed the Navy secretary’s warning about the sequester.

“These accidental, random cuts are not the way to do budgets,” Inslee said.

Inslee joined Mabus in a ceremony Thursday honoring the country’s newest attack submarine, which will be named for the Evergreen State.

“We really are very profoundly hopeful that we don’t name this boat the USS Washington and then two weeks later sequester dollars so that we have layoffs here in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “That is not a result that is acceptable.”

The USS Washington is the first Navy vessel to be named after the state since World War II.  The sub will go into service in 2016. There is no Pentagon commitment yet about whether it will be stationed in the state.

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  • sunnyknight

    The Navy has now declared WAR on Whidbey Island. This is clearly a move to conquer and occupy our land with militarization of the Pacific Northwest. More aircraft along with oppressive noise and toxic pollution is not compatible with life.

    Civilians at Whidbey Island received devastating news when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the automatic spending cuts set to go into effect next month will not occur.

    Further devastating news is "We're putting virtually every Growler we've got here," said Mabus, speaking specifically about Whidbey. Mabus offered no apologies for using NAS Whidbey as a dumping ground for unwelcome aircraft now stationed in Hawaii. Mabus also stated the military will contribute about $592 million to destroy the environment and livelihood of long established residents. It is not yet clear how much the military will increase the current use of 24 million gallons of toxic jet fuel used yearly to pollute our air and water. Plans for compensation to civilians for losses have yet to be determined but expected to be in billions of dollars a mere drop in the ocean from the trillion-dollar Pentagon budget.

    Mabus is well briefed on the violation of property rights and torture of citizens at the Outlying Field in Coupeville and North Whidbey. It is not clear at this time how unrest will be resolved. The Western Pacific is currently one of the top three focuses of the Navy. The most cost effective solution considered is to convert the Island of Trash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean into an Outlying Field. With the vast resources and ingenuity of the Pentagon this will solve two problems. The trash will be recycled and there will be a suitable area for carrier flight training with no disturbance to populated areas.

    War profiteers at the Pentagon are diligently stirring up conflict with China and North Korea to generate wars for profit. Construction on the UNESCO designated environmental wonder at Jeju Island for a nuke base has successfully destroyed rare coral beds and instigated riots by natives. This destruction will be complete within two years. Native residents will be relocated to refugee camps.

  • JanisL

    I would appreciate the flurry of scare tactics and propaganda from all quarters (i.e. anybody benefiting or PROFITING from the military budget to STOP! We are as "ready" as $1.3Trillion of our tax dollars every twelve months can make us, and if that's not good enough, then tough t*tties! I am sick and tired of the drunken sailor spending (no pun intended) of the Pentagon and umpteen other agencies and spy shops duplicating each other's work tenfold! THIS MUST END. The golf coursee on every base that take substantial funds to maintain; free tuition for soldiers and their children and their wives; what gives here? The tax breaks on property taxes, the hazard pay, the free housing, free utilities, free healthcare, discounted food and retail purchaes; the regular raises when everybody else is going without. Where does all this spending of funds that we do NOT have, end? And I see there's yet ANOTHER new ship that we don't need–the high-speed "Spearhead" at $185Million tax dollars per copy; which the favy is building 10 of! That's easy to do, when it's not YOUR money paying for these big-boy toys! The fact is a recent survey of Americans showed 70% of us want DEEP cuts to the military budget. It's a majority opinion: military spending MUST be reduced, and deeply. So get used to that reaity!