Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 8 News List

Budget axe to hit US Marine Corps

By Richard Halloran

However, when pressed in the US Congress as to whether the military budget under Carter was sufficient, Barrow replied: “In a word, no.”

With today’s economic difficulties and consequent budget crunch, Amos said he accepted the US$487 billion cut in overall military spending that was to be imposed over the next five years. He suggested that the Marine Corps would live with whatever Congress provided.

However, the general said he was “deeply concerned” about the possibility that more cuts would be mandated across the board if the White House and Congress could not agree by January on a new tax and spending plan. (This process is known by the cumbersome, ill-defined and almost unpronounceable word “sequestration.”)

He feared it would have a “disproportionate impact” on the Marine Corps’ relatively small budget. For the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, the corps has asked for US$23.9 billion to cover not only its own costs, but support from the navy in amphibious ships, planes, doctors, medics, chaplains and civil engineers.

That, Amos said, “represents a mere 8 percent of the entire Department of Defense budget.”

Richard Halloran is a commentator in Hawaii.

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