By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon officials insist they are not crying wolf when they say proposed budget cuts could severely harm the military.
In a detailed and stark warning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said about $500 billion in automatic budget cuts slated to take effect over the next decade could leave the nation with an ill-prepared, underequipped military doomed to face more technologically advanced enemies.
He said that if Congress doesn't act to avoid the cuts, the Pentagon may be forced to mothball up to three Navy aircraft carriers and order additional sharp reductions in the size of the Army and Marine Corps — shortfalls the military hasn't seen since World War II.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.