There is a lot of garment rending and teeth gnashing going on with respect to the impact that a sequester in FY 2014 might have on the civil servants working in the Department of Defense. Two weeks ago, somebody leaked a Pentagon memo to Tony Capaccio at Bloomberg, which says the DOD might not use furloughs next year to deal with the budget cuts. Instead, the memo says, the Pentagon might put 6,272 jobs on the chopping block, using a Reduction in Force (RIF) to eliminate personnel altogether.
This makes for a good headline, but maybe the headline is more meaningful than the story. We are, as I have said many times, in a defense drawdown. During a drawdown, everything gets smaller. The uniformed military gets smaller, the Pentagon’s civil service gets smaller, the number of carrier battle groups, brigades, and air wings all decline. It is what happens after a war.
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