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Experts Contemplate Potential Impact of Defense Cuts

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  • December 5, 2011
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The Defense Department’s workforce of almost 800,000 civilians could fall by up to 20 percent by October 2013 if the Pentagon is forced to absorb dramatic spending cuts as a result of the supercommittee’s failure to reach a deficit reduction plan, according to a former DOD official.

Some of the reduction could come via early-out incentives, but much of it would be involuntary, Cindy Williams, a former division director in DOD’s directorate of program analysis and evaluation, told Federal Times.

“This is going to be a mess,” said Williams, who now is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s security studies program.

In addition to a drop in the civilian workforce, a former OMB official believes the department will request permission to launch another BRAC round as part of its fiscal 2013 budget request due in February.

“I think it’s inevitable that we will see a defense build-down,” said Gordon Adams, who now is a professor at American University.

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