With sequestration, military and combat readiness are usually the first to go because they are the easiest to cut with the fastest monetary return, said Nora Bensahel, a fellow at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security.
"The defense cuts of the past few years and that will extend as a requirement of sequestration really are having an effect on the military readiness," she said. "There is great pressure to find savings quickly to meet the required level of cuts. Operations and maintenance funds — the funds the forces use for readiness — are the easiest way to get your hands on money really fast. That includes everything that a unit needs to operate, to deploy on a rotation to the national training center, to maintaining equipment, and buying ammunition comes out of those funds. So when they get cut, readiness levels go down."