Drawing on the American experience of leaving Iraq without an agreement on future presence, the Commandant of the Marine Corps said, “I don’t want that to happen in Afghanistan.” Gen. James Amos, speaking on Tuesday at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, added, “We can ill afford to simply pull out and go home,” noting the tumult now convulsing parts of Iraq. Read More
Congress included $240 million for a 12th San Antonio-class amphibious warship (LPD-17), as part of the last minute, late March budget deal that funded the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2013.
However the Navy didn’t ask for the money for what would be LPD-28, leaving open questions for the future of a class that was supposed to stop at 11 ships. Read More
“We are not sure how that is going to play out,” the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps said about events in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the United States and NATO complete their withdrawal from combat operations in 2014 as he launched into an around the globe assessment of threats from North Korea’s “no sense of stability” to pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Straits of Malacca facing the nation now. Read More
Proceedings, November 2012
To maintain their unique capabilities, the Sea Services must master the art of navigating budgets in the Age of Austerity.
Under the authority of the Budget Control Act of 2011 and without congressional action, automatic across-the-board cuts—“sequestration”—will occur in the Department of Defense budget in January 2013. 1 The likelihood and the consequences of this event are still uncertain, but projections by the Congressional Research Service suggest total cuts to the Defense budget in the vicinity of $500 billion over the next decade; similar cuts would be made in non-Defense spending. That this would be severe is not in doubt: Employment reductions from changes in equipment procurement in California alone are projected at nearly 126,000, with national changes in employment at more than 5.8 million. 2
Austerity budgets may prove to be the most challenging obstacle the Navy and Marine Corps have seen in a generation. Yet as painful as they may be, they must be faced. And successfully facing them begins with first developing an understanding of the current macroeconomic position of the United States, and ends with developing an effective budgetary strategy. Additionally, it will be critical to remember that Defense budgets do not exist in isolation. All actions and their costs must be gauged both against the entire federal budget as well as the larger U.S. macro-economy.