"I am fully expecting to see sequestration in some form beginning in January," Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) told AOL Defense in an exclusive interview. And those automatic cuts -- or even the more targeted cuts likely in any deal to avoid a sequester -- would undermine the nation's new Pacific-focused strategy and the military's AirSea Battle concept to win future ocean wars, said Forbes, who chairs the readiness panel of the House Armed Services Committee.
Congress could strike a deal in 2013 to stop the sequestration cuts before they take full effect -- presumably as part of a larger deal on the "fiscal cliff" to raise the debt ceiling and extend Bush-era tax cuts -- but "I think it will be sometime early spring before we see that," Forbes sighed. "It's going to be very, very difficult to reach that deal before January."
"Now hope springs eternal, Sydney, so obviously I hope something will be reached," Forbes went on. "There's just no indicators [anywhere] that I've seen that would indicate that such a deal is percolating right now."
Many Democrats believe they can get a better deal in 2013 -- something Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said publicly way back in July -- and they argue that the world won't end if sequestration takes effect on Jan. 2. They may have a point, up to a point.