The Obama administration has asked the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon’s budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent — about $55 billion — a senior U.S. defense official told several newspeople.
For as long as anyone can remember, the Department of Defense built its budget based upon a national strategy that the National Command Authority authorized. Simply stated, the President and his top advisors told DoD what they would need, say a two simultaneous war strategy in two different threaters, and the Pentagon costed that stategy in terms of manpower, aircraft, ships, etc.
In its starkest terms, building the DoD budget was like asking yourself where you wanted to go, asking the cab driver how much that would cost and then setting aside the money to get you where you needed to be.
When we want to go, say, to church, we give the cab driver the money needed for that trip.
Apparently, in the new era of the Obama Administration, we’ll just give the cab drive $3.00 and ask “How far can we go?”
The Obama administration has asked the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to cut the Pentagon’s budget request for the fiscal year 2010 by more than 10 percent — about $55 billion — a senior U.S. defense official told FOX News.
Last year’s defense budget was $512 billion. Service chiefs and planners will be spending the weekend “burning the midnight oil” looking at ways to cut the budget — looking especially at weapons programs, the defense official said.
Some overall budget figures are expected to be announced Monday.
Obama met Friday at the White House with a small group of military advisers, including Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman, and Gen. Jim Jones, National Security Council chairman.
Many will applaud the president for cutting what is widely seen as an over-inflated budget. But many others will see the way this cut was made as questionable without the strategic thought underpinning the budget number. And many wives, friends, husbands and family members of service members will want to know if their service people are now more at risk….
By Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg
U.S. defense budget cuts may target spending on weapons as the Obama administration juggles paying for personnel and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
“The most expensive part of our budget is our people,” Admiral Michael Mullen said in an interview yesterday. “There’s not a lot of flexibility with respect to people, unless you start” reducing forces.
That is unlikely, meaning the weapons procurement budget, which averaged about 20 percent of fiscal 2008 and 2009 defense spending, will come under increased scrutiny, Mullen said.
“We’ve got to fund the wars we are in,” and that “puts an awful lot of pressure” on decreasing spending on weapon modernization and the repair of war-worn equipment, he said.
The largest part of the weapons accounts is tactical aircraft, shipbuilding and ground equipment produced by Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics Corp., Raytheon Co. and BAE Systems Plc.
Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned two congressional defense committees that “one thing we have known for many months is that the spigot of defense spending that opened on 9/11 is closing.”