He said the Pentagon’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal had already accepted some risks, but allowed the military to reach its newly revamped strategic goals. Large-scale additional spending cuts would make it impossible to achieve those goals and would be “very hard” to absorb, he added.
Kendall said he expected lawmakers to enact “some kind of deal that will delay sequestration during the “lame duck” session, when Congress meets after the election, that is due to begin the week after next.
Then Congress and the White House could together tackle a bigger budget deal in early 2013, he said, adding: “I’m an eternal optimist.”
He said the Defense Department was also continuing its efforts to reform the way it buys goods and services, and make weapons systems more affordable. Kendall’s office plans to unveil additional reform efforts next week, an aide said.