Posts Tagged ‘Defense Budget’

Can the US Afford its Military? Some Say No

February 18, 2009

 

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With the combined cost of the economic stimulus package and the Wall Street bailout now projected by some estimates to top $2 trillion, and the federal deficit spiraling, U.S. officials are fretting that current levels of defense spending may be unsustainable. [ FULL STORY ]

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$40 billion needed to expand Army

December 23, 2008
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The Army projects it will need $40 billion annually above current spending levels once a planned 74,200 troops are added, according to a draft service report for the Obama transition team.

The report says the planned force of 1.1 million soldiers would require a budget of “$170 billion to $180 billion per year to sustain,” well above the 2009 budget of about $140 billion.

A draft copy of the 43-page document, labeled “predecisional” and dated November 2008, was obtained by Defense News, a sister publication of Army Times.

USAF Chief of Staff Puts on Brave Face, Prepares for Budget Cuts

December 5, 2008
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The Air Force’s top officer warned last week that his service must be ready to weather cuts to weapons programs and other budget areas as the incoming administration confronts the growing tab for the financial crisis.

Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said in an interview that he is prepared for tough choices. “I can foresee there’s going to be additional pressure and, frankly, I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” he said.

Read the entire article at the WSJ

Pentagon Proposes $581 Billion FY-10 Budget to Obama Transition Team

November 21, 2008
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The Office of the Secretary of Defense is recommending to President-elect Barack Obama’s Pentagon transition team a fiscal year 2010 budget of $581 billion, a significant topline increase that does not include any funding for war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports InsideDefense.com.

The FY-10 budget proposal prepared by OSD includes $117 billion for weapon systems modernization. That number encompasses $14 billion proposed this summer to speed Air Force and Navy buys of the Joint Strike Fighter, “stabilize the industrial base” and accelerate purchases of capabilities that are top priorities of commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan — intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies, a senior Pentagon official told InsideDefense.com.
Read the full report  at Inside Defense.com (paid subscription required)

Boots on the Ground or Weapons in the Sky?

October 31, 2008

Budget Crunch Forces U.S. Military to Choose Which Form of Defense to Pursue; This-War-Itis vs. Next-War-Itis

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For years, the military has been roiled by a heated internal debate over what kind of wars it should prepare to fight.

One faction, led by a host of senior officers, favors buying state-of-the-art weapons systems that would be useful in a traditional conflict with a nation like Russia or China. The other side, which includes Defense Secretary Robert Gates, believes the military should prepare for grinding insurgencies that closely resemble the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The dispute has long been largely academic, since the soaring defense budgets in the years since the September 2001 terror attacks left plenty of money for each side’s main priorities.

That is beginning to change, a casualty of the widening global financial crisis.

Read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.

Panel: Fiscal Constraints Will Force Next Defense Secretary to Consider Program Kills

October 31, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

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The next defense secretary will inherit a vexing set of financial challenges that demand an “all-or-nothing” approach to cutting the defense budget, including weapon systems and even personnel accounts, according to a key Defense Department advisory panel cited by Defense News (subscription required).

Such “bold action” would mark a departure from the less politically painful and more common practice of dealing with fiscal constraints by imposing small cuts across all accounts, the Defense Business Board says in a new report.

Pentagon POM Shifts Predicated on Major Boost to Defense Budget

October 24, 2008

The Defense Department is finalizing a new six-year investment proposal that makes notable changes to the military services’ program and budget plans — changes predicated on the next president supporting major increases to the Pentagon budget, reports Inside Defense.

Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, according to Pentagon officials, is poised to issue in the next few days classified decisions that will give final shape to the Bush administration’s plan for an augmented fiscal year 2010 military budget and follow-on six-year plan.

An accelerated budget process — designed to hand the next administration’s Pentagon transition team a comprehensive FY-10 budget proposal and an FY-10 to FY-15 investment blueprint soon after the Nov. 4 election — has driven decisions in recent weeks to adjust plans for major weapon system programs and force structure. Proposed changes are detailed in internal budget documents obtained and first reported by InsideDefense.com.

Read more at Inside Defense (subscriiption required)