None Dare Call It Propaganda

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The Pentagon has its own news agency – the American Forces Press Service — which churns out stories every day of interest to the millions of those working for the U.S. military, both in and out of uniform. They’re read online, and published in military newspapers at bases, posts and stations around the globe.

It’s part of AFPS’s job to keep the troops informed. But there’s something a tad disconcerting with the flurry of taxpayer-funded stories this week warning of the perils of sequestration:

Furloughs Could Affect Army’s Behavioral Health Care

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 – Upcoming furloughs for Army civilians, along with budget cuts, will affect the Army’s ability to provide behavioral health care to soldiers, the service’s chief of behavioral health care said here this week. More than half of the Army’s behavioral health providers are either government civilians or contractors, Col. Rebecca Porter said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast March 12.

Furlough to Affect Thrift Savings Plan Contributions
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 – Federal civilian employees could see their Thrift Savings Plan contributions reduced if furloughs take effect. The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve.

Cuts Harm Programs Sustaining All-volunteer Force, Official Says
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 – Spending cuts that took effect March 1 will diminish recruiting, training, and medical and support programs that sustain the all-volunteer force, a senior Pentagon official told Congress today. Jessica L. Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, noted to the House Armed Services Committee that President Barack Obama exempted military personnel accounts from sequestration.

DOD’s Top Doctor Details Sequester’s Effect on Health System
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 – The Pentagon’s top health affairs official today detailed for Congress the immediate and long-term effects of sequestration on the Defense Department’s military health care system and its medical mission. Dr. Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, told the House Armed Services Committee that the spending cuts that took effect March 1 will affect patients, staff and facilities.

Sequestration Pinch Includes Tuition Assistance Suspension
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – Though budget woes led the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force to suspend their tuition assistance programs and the Navy continues to consider its options, the program is important to the Defense Department and to service members, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today. “The program enables the professional and personal development of our service members and facilitates their transition to the civilian workforce,” Little said at a Pentagon news conference.

Dempsey: Sequestration Will Affect Programs, Readiness

WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – The Defense Department will see effects to long-term military readiness and support programs such as the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors under sequestration’s fiscal constraints, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here yesterday. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey gave remarks and fielded questions from the audience at the National League of Cities Congressional Cities Conference.

Stratcom Chief: Fiscal Uncertainty Threatens Readiness
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 – Declaring U.S. Strategic Command mission-ready for its global missions, its commander warned Congress today that given the specter of fiscal uncertainty and declining resources, he’s concerned he “may not be able to say the same in six months or a year.” Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler painted a picture of an uncertain, complex national security landscape during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, even as the United States transitions from more than a decade of conflict.

Sure would be nice to read one headlined:
Sequestration is Tough, But We’re Tougher