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Opinion: Columnists

Hugh Hewitt: What will happen when the Obama Sequester kicks in

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When President Obama's sequester kicks in on March 1, thousands of people will lose their jobs, but the president doesn't care because he kept his.

When President Obama's sequester kicks in on March 1, the nation's military readiness will be diminished, but the president won't mind because he intends the Department of Defense to shrink radically anyway.

When President Obama's sequester kicks in on March 1, the already-contracting national economy will suffer a setback, but the president is indifferent because he believes he can blame the Republicans.

The president appears to have misjudged the consequences of the sequester as much as he did the perils of his first debate with Mitt Romney.

Because Barack Obama is the commander in chief, it is his responsibility to make sure the troops are provisioned, that the carriers make their deployments -- on time and at full strength -- and that the nation's nuclear arsenal remain the incredibly successful deterrent it has been since the close of World War II.

Because of the expense involved, the USS Harry S Truman is not headed to the Persian Gulf and surrounding waters. Instead, our country and the region will have to get by with one carrier.

On Friday, the Hill reported that the president is preparing to sign a directive slashing our nuclear arsenal by one-third.

On Saturday, Time magazine relayed the news that an "$18 billion cut in the Army budget will result in the cancellation of critical warfighting training for 78 percent of the Army's nondeployed, nonforward, combat brigades."

"Training will apparently be limited to "squad level" exercises and instruction," the report continued.

The Obama Sequester will go down in American history as one of the most reckless, self-destructive and easily avoidable slash-and-burnings of American military strength. Voters will not forget.

The president vowed during the campaign that this would not happen. The GOP-controlled House offered a plan to prevent it from happening -- to replace the devastating cuts to our national security with other cuts. The Democrat-controlled Senate has no plan except to have no plan. The president speaks in tired cliches that won an election and a massive tax hike, but which now ring hollow.

The Obama Sequester -- and it deserves status as a proper noun -- will be studied for decades to come, just as the British hollowing out of their military in the '30s is studied. We have to pray that the consequences of this self-inflicted defeat are not as catastrophic as those that followed Great Britain's indifference to fully-funded security. But the Obama Sequester is occurring just as the fruits of the Obama "lead-from-behind" foreign policy are being gathered in across the world.

The president's fecklessness on matters of national security received its perfect expression in the nomination to be secretary of defense -- and especially in the confirmation hearing testimony of Sen. Hagel. Hagel was completely unprepared, thought to rest on the laurels of his long-ago honorable service and on the machine-discipline of Harry Reid's hacks in the Senate. That the hapless Hagel has not already withdrawn underscores the contempt that Obama has for the men and women in uniform he commands, sending them a leader whose manifest incompetence tells them, and all of our enemies, that the president could care less for their safety and wise use.

The Obama Sequester will define this second term, which is already a certain failure because of it.

Examiner Columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at HughHewitt.com.

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