Rear Adm. Joseph Mulloy discusses the Navy portion of the Department of Defense fiscal year 2011 budget. US Navy Photo
The Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps are continuing funding future capability with a budget that places emphasis on introduction of new weapon systems like the Littoral Combat Ship and the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget submission from the Department of the Navy.
The $155.8 billion request is split between $45.4 billion for military personnel, $43.5 billion for procurement for ships, aircraft, weapons and Marine Corps spending, $16 billion for research and development and $2.3 billion for infrastructure. Read More
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on April 3, 2013.
The Pentagon has issued a budget that hopes to sidestep mandatory sequestration cuts as part of a larger Obama administration spending reduction strategy.
The $526.6 billion budget, announced Wednesday at a press briefing at the Pentagon, is part of the larger budget proposal across government that would save $1.8 trillion over ten years. Read More
From the March 14, Congressional Research Service report: In order to encourage holistic consideration of national security issues, some members of this inchoate school have called for the use of “unified national security budgeting” (UNSB). To be clear, their goal is not to refine the U.S. federal system of budgeting, but rather to use budgetary mechanisms to drive changes in U.S. national security practices. Within this broad school of thought, various proponents call for the adoption of a number of different approaches, from a single shared funding pool for all national security activities, to mission-specific funding pools, to crosscut displays, to more strategically driven budgeting. In turn, various proponents apparently aim to achieve quite different kinds of change with their proposed remedies—from rebalancing the distribution of roles and responsibilities among executive branch agencies, to saving money, to revisiting fundamental understandings about how U.S. national security is best protected. Read More
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos speaks alongside Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert before the House Armed Services Committee in 2012. US Navy Photo
The Joint Chiefs of Staff made another round of dire warnings about impending sequestration at a hearing Wednesday, this time telling the House Armed Services Committee who may die because of budget problems — and how.
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.
Despite billions of dollars being raised and spent during the 2012 election cycle, last Tuesday changed very little in terms of the balance of power. Control of the House, Senate and White House remains the same, though Democrats picked up a handful of seats in Congress and the names and faces on the four defense committees also will be reshuffled in the next session. Still, there is a long list of priorities to be taken care of before the new Congress is sworn in at the beginning of January. Here are some of the biggest items in the national security arena:
What it is: In order to avert a crunch on U.S. borrowing last year, Congress and the President agreed to a deal that raised the debt ceiling but required the House and Senate to cut spending over the long term. The Budget Control Act required a bipartisan panel from the House and Senate to craft compromise legislation that would slash the debt by $1.5 trillion dollars. In the event a compromise could not be reached, an automatic trigger was put into place that would go into effect in January 2013. The trigger was designed to be a poison pill that compelled cooperation, but the deadline for compromise lapsed in November and started the clock ticking toward automatic across-the-board cuts totaling $500 billion each to defense and domestic discretionary spending over the next decade. In DOD, personnel accounts would be spared but shipbuilding plans, fighter programs, and ground vehicle modernization would all suffer equal cuts.
The so-called congressional super committee in 2011
Inside politics: Moderates in the House and Senate have backed a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases that include an end to the Bush-era tax cuts, reforms of the tax code and some changes to entitlement programs. Once, dubbed the “grand bargain,” widespread support has been fickle as each of the factions on the Hill and at the White House angled for better, more politically palatable deals. House Republicans as a bloc have steadfastly refused to back any bill that would increase taxes, but most agree that more revenues must be a part of any deal to cut long-term expenditures. Some Democrats have opposed any change to entitlements, though most members agree that the current system is not wholly sustainable.