The nation's top military officers are warning that automatic budget cuts will compromise the armed services' ability to defend the U.S. and could cause higher casualties.

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are telling Congress the cuts will force reductions in manpower, training and weapons purchases.

They're getting a sympathetic response from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Democratic Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan says cuts scheduled for next year will leave the nation less able to defend its global interests.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma say President Ronald Reagan would be rolling in his grave if he saw how weak the military is becoming.

The automatic cuts are known as the sequester. They're because of Congress failing to reach a budgetreduction agreement.