- Washington Guardian - Monday, January 14, 2013

Warning of an increasingly intractable budget crisis, the Pentagon’s No. 2 official has ordered military chiefs to begin making drastic spending cuts ranging from civilian hiring freezes and the elimination of all temporary jobs to the canceling of ship and aircraft maintenance contracts.

The memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, obtained by the Washington Guardian, emerges as the Pentagon faces the increasing possibility of billions of dollars in shortfalls because of two simultaneous storms. First, Congress has not approved a 2013 budget and is funding the government through Continuing Resolutions at 2012 spending levels. And second, some lawmakers are threatening to allow draconian spending cuts to take effect this spring under the fiscal cliff scenario known as “sequestration.”