For two weeks in February 2013, U.S., Japanese, and Australian air forces participated in maneuvers in the Pacific. At the same time, in Washington, D.C., Department of Defense officials argued against the automatic sequestration of budget funds set to begin March 1.
The Pacific maneuvers, code-named Operation Cope North, were aimed at making sure the U.S. and its Pacific allies are ready for a variety of scenarios, from combat to disaster relief missions. Sequestration, the DoD argues, will undermine U.S. military readiness. You can read about both here.
Sequestration, with regard to the federal budget, found its way into the American vernacular in late summer 2011, as a stopgap to end the first debt ceiling crisis. Sequestration -- across-the-board federal cuts in the absence of any other budget fixes -- seems like a silly draconian measure in the absence of real creativity and cooperation in Washington.
In the meantime, we all participate in Operation Coping with Washington.