President Obama’s FY2014 base budget request of $552.0 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense-related programs of other agencies (excluding war costs), exceeds by $53.9 billion the legally binding cap on defense funding for FY2014 that was enacted in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25). Unless the Budget Control Act (BCA) is amended, either Congress will have to cut the Administration’s National Defense request by $53.9 billion (about 9.8%) to meet the BCA cap of $498.1 billion, or else the BCA law will reduce the appropriation to the level set by the cap through a process of sequestration, beginning in January 2014. Read More
From the Dec. 17, 2013 Government Accountability Office report: Further Analysis Needed to Identify Guam’s Public Infrastructure Requirements and Costs for DOD’s Realignment Plan. Read More
From the Dec. 16, 2013 U.S. State Department fact sheet: Expanded U.S. Assistance for Maritime Capacity Building.
On December 16, Secretary of State John Kerry announced an initial commitment of $32.5 million in new regional and bilateral assistance to advance maritime capacity building in Southeast Asia. Including this new funding, our planned region-wide funding support for maritime capacity building exceeds $156 million for the next two years. Read More
Following the recent criminal investigations into abuses in port servicing contracts for U.S. Navy ships, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued a Monday memo calling for a complete audit of port services. The final report is due in June, 2014. Read More
From the Dec. 9, 2014 fact sheet on the Fiscal Year 2014 summary of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) propsal.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 is the key mechanism to provide necessary authorities and funding for America’s military. This is the fifty-second consecutive NDAA. The legislation meets Chairman McKeon’s goal of providing for a strong defense in an era of uncertain and declining resources. The total funding authorized reflects the will of the House to provide our troops the resources they need to meet a dangerous world. However, Chairman McKeon also recognizes that, more than ever, the impacts of rapid defense cuts, FY13 sequestration, and the prospect of future sequester cuts in the years to come, will force our warfighters to be not only keen stewards of our national security, but to maximize value for every taxpayer dollar. To that end, this legislation supports and protects our warfighters and their families; addresses ongoing and emerging conflicts with resolve and accountability; protects America today while making wise choices. Read More
The following is a Dec. 4, 2013 letter from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Read More
The following is from the Congressional Research Service report, Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990.
This CRS Report discusses U.S. security assistance for Taiwan, formally called the Republic of China (ROC), particularly policy issues for Congress. It also lists sales of major defense articles and services to Taiwan, as approved by the President and notified to Congress since 1990. This report uses a variety of unclassified consultations and citations in the United States and Taiwan. Read More
From the Nov. 4, 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses.
A priority of Obama Administration policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. Well before Iran’s nuclear issue rose to the forefront of U.S. concerns about Iran in 2003, the United States had seen Iran’s support for regional militant groups, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, as efforts to undermine U.S. interests and allies. Read More
From the Congressional Budget Office report, Options for Reducing the Deficit: 2014 to 2023:
The Congress faces an array of policy choices as it confronts the dramatic increase in the federal government’s debt over the past several years and the prospect of large annual budget deficits and further increases in that debt that are projected to occur in coming decades under current law. Read More
From the Nov. 22, 2013 U.S> Defense Department’s Arctic Strategy:
The Arctic is at a strategic inflection point as its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected2 and human activity, driven by economic opportunity—ranging from oil, gas, and mineral exploration to fishing, shipping, and tourism—is increasing in response to the growing accessibility. Read More