This budget-mandated action carries with it a reduction in the capability of the Air Force to respond when needed. The government's continuing resolution that sustains the sequestration cuts will carry with it a consequence, whether intended or not, of significantly impacting Air Force readiness — which is the heart of our deterrent posture against potential adversaries.
The reduction in readiness capability means our nation must accept an increase in risk. At risk is our national security and interest in arenas that may not be apparent today. Such was the case in 1988, but then we had a Cold War-ready and capable force to massively respond to open aggression.
Whether that will be the case in the years ahead is debatable, and that is the essence of our increased risk.
Tarpley is a retired Air Force colonel and a former inspector general for Air Combat Command at Tinker AFB. He is a defense marketing consultant and president of the Air Force Association, Gerrity Chapter.