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BRACF-35Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Pentagon Budget: Failure to Adapt to 21st-Century Threats

Pentagon Budget: Failure to Adapt to 21st-Century Threats This week, the Pentagon submitted its annual budget to Congress, requesting $585.3 billion total, including a base budget of $534.3 billion and $50.9 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The request blew past the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA), which limits base spending to $499 billion – nearly $100 billion more than  the amount collectively spent by either Europe or  Asia on their national militaries. By ignoring the caps, the Pentagon is punting on aligning its ends and means in a coherent, realistic, and effective defense strategy. Despite some important forward-looking programs, the budget also over invests in weapon systems – like the F-35 and nuclear aircraft carriers – that are designed to… Read More ›

F-35FY15 BudgetNDAAOCO BudgetFriday, May 9, 2014

Playing Politics with the Post-War Drawdown

Playing Politics with the Post-War Drawdown May 9, 2014 This week, the House Armed Services Committee completed its markup of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While the bill respects the caps on Pentagon spending, it misses the opportunity to make hard and smart choices about weapons programs and reforms to help the Pentagon adapt to future threats and budgetary realities. By forestalling these choices to protect pet in-district projects, the current bill exacerbates the challenge of responsibly managing the post-war drawdown. The bill includes funding for weapon systems the military didn’t ask for – like upgrades to tanks the Army doesn’t want and more funding for aircraft carriers the Navy didn’t request – that ultimately tie the Pentagon’s hands in adapting the… Read More ›

F-35FY15 BudgetNDAAOCO BudgetWednesday, April 30, 2014

Putting Pentagon Spending in Context

Putting Pentagon Spending in Context April 30, 2014 This week, House Armed Services subcommittees are preparing their portions of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will go before the full committee next week. This year’s NDAA and appropriations process will have to navigate a number of tough issues, especially the addition of more money to the Administration’s $496 billion request for the Pentagon by way of budget gimmicks to skirt the caps on spending imposed by the Budget Control Act. Such back-door increases are unnecessary and fail to appreciate the proper context in which Pentagon spending should be assessed. In a global and strategic context, total U.S. military expenditures remain well above the Cold War average and are multiple times larger… Read More ›

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