Ranking House Armed Services Democrat Rep. Adam Smith, of Washington State, says of the defense cuts: “The single biggest take away from Strategic Choices Management Review is that Congress, by allowing sequestration to exist, is abdicating its constitutional responsibility to responsibly fund the military and to provide for the common defense. Through sequestration, Congress is forcing the Department of Defense to make some extremely difficult decisions that will undermine military readiness and put more unneeded stress on our troops, civilian employees, and military retirees.”

Hagel Outlines Bold, Painful Cuts to Army, Carriers, Pay, Benefits To Cope With Sequester

But William Hartung, head of the arms and security project at the Center for International Policy, didn’t buy that, saying Hagel’s actions “are too little, too late. Key questions like changes in military compensation — and even how to cut the $52 billion in FY 2014 — have yet again been kicked down the road.” Hartung accused Hagel of of understating DoD’s “ability to make sensible procurement cuts by protecting systems like the overpriced, under-performing F-35 combat aircraft.”