Indianapolis Star
Arne Pedersen

The Nov. 22 article “How automatic spending cuts would hit Hoosiers” is correct that the automatic spending cuts triggered by the debt ceiling deal — including $600 billion in defense cuts on top of the $450 billion already passed — could cost Indiana thousands of jobs.

An independent study by Stephen Fuller of the Center for Regional Analysis atGeorgeMasonUniversityshowed that the defense cuts alone could add an entire percentage point to the national unemployment rate. Certainly, theIndianaunemployment rate would rise with these layoffs.

But even more important is how the defense spending cuts could endanger our national security. Without funding to replace equipment and aircraft worn out by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says that our Army and Navy will shrink to pre-World War II levels. Our Air Force will become smaller than any time in its history. Our military history demonstrates conclusively that the price of deep military spending cuts by Congress is the blood of our sons and daughters. SinceIndianasends more men and women as a percentage to fight for our Constitution than any other state, my fellow Hoosiers, we need our voices heard.

Even fundamental programs like missile defense to protect theU.S.could face cuts. A decade of tests has proved to supporters like Hillary Clinton and House Speaker John Boehner that today’s missile defense systems are the only real protection against mercurial dictators armed with nuclear ballistic missiles and deep hatred of theU.S.Yet the proposed defense cuts could slash our missile defenses just at the moment thatIranis set to acquire nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The debt ceiling defense cuts could kick workers to the curb and drop our defenses in one foul, fell swoop.

Arne Pedersen
Retired Army captain, president, Human Capital Management