Defense

May 10, 2012

DOD budget request reflects tough choices

by Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DOD photograph by Glenn Fawcett
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conduct a press conference in the Pentagon press briefing room, May 10, 2012.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conduct a press conference in the Pentagon press briefing room, May 10, 2012.

As Congress marks up the military budget, the nation’s defense leaders said today they stand ready to work with lawmakers to maintain the balance they built into their budget proposal.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke strongly on defense budget issues during a Pentagon press conference.

“We do not have to choose between national security and fiscal security, but that does not mean that we do not have to make tough choices,” the secretary said. “We do. And defense should not be exempt from doing its share to reduce the deficit.”

The House Armed Services Committee this week has debated aspects of the proposed defense budget, including base realignment and closure and possible missile defense sites.

Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, Panetta noted, which requires a reduction of defense spending of $487 billion over the next 10 years.

To meet those cuts, department senior leaders worked with President Barack Obama to craft a strategy outlining defense priorities, the secretary said. They then built a spending plan that both supports that strategy and meets the Budget control Act’s spending caps, he added.

“My concern is that if Congress now tries to reverse many of the tough decisions that we reached by adding several billion dollars to the president’s budget request, then they risk not only potential gridlock … [but] they could force the kind of trade-offs that could jeopardize our national defense,” Panetta said.

The secretary described some of those trade-offs. If DOD leaders can’t retire aging ships and aircraft, he said, they will have to realize savings in areas such as modernization investment.

If the department can’t reduce force structure after 2014, “Congress would be forcing us to reduce readiness. We would have to cut training [and] we’d have to cut equipment,” Panetta added.

And if Congress limits the Pentagon’s ability to put military health care costs on what the secretary called a sustainable track, lawmakers would limit defense options to invest in “new technologies that we believe are critical to the force we need for the future,” he said.

Dempsey said he appreciates the difficulties lawmakers must contend with in managing military spending as U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan continues, and complex security challenges lie ahead.

The chairman said he and Panetta, along with the service chiefs and combatant commanders, faced the same issues when they prepared their budget request.

DOD’s spending plan “is a responsible investment in our nation’s security,” Dempsey said.

The challenge in finalizing defense funding is to “make sure our armed forces have what they need – and no more than we need – to keep America immune from coercion,” the chairman said.

DOD’s budget request reflects a carefully devised set of choices to sustain the joint force, Dempsey said.

Those choices, he added, reflect “the right mix among force structure, modernization, readiness, pay and benefits. Different choices will produce a different balance.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombingsĀ - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it seasonĀ - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>