WASHINGTON, DC — Reporting on the FY2015 President’s Budget Request (PBR), National Defense covered the Pentagon’s difficulties in effectively communicating its needs to Congress. Fiscal hawks are unhappy with the PBR as it breaches spending caps set in 2011, and pro-defense Republicans are unhappy that the White House has protected domestic programs at the expense of the military.
Breaking caps in an election year is going to be very difficult.”—Doug Berenson
However, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) contains information that could be used to demonstrate defense needs in excess of what the PBR currently mandates. It is the first military strategy since 1997 that abandons the concept that the U.S. military should be able to fight and win two major wars simultaneously. Instead, it expects the U.S. military to fight and win one major conflict while supporting small scale operations elsewhere. To fulfil QDR requirements, defense leaders claim they need an army of 440,000 active-duty soldiers, 182,000 Marines and 11 aircraft carrier groups. If the Budget Control Act is enforced, active-duty soldiers would be reduced to 420,000, Marines to 175,000, and the Navy to 10 carrier groups.
Quoting Doug Berenson during his March 6 Avascent webinar: “Analysis of the DoD FY15 President’s Budget Request,” National Defense reports that “(s)ince the defense budget peaked in 2010 at about $689 billion (including war costs), it has been a more gradual downturn—to $582 billion in 2014—than many people feared…Berenson predicts the Pentagon will be more successful than it was in the past in making the case that sequestration is damaging.”
Click here to read: “Pentagon Push for More Money Looks Like a Losing War”
Click here to listen: “Analysis of the DoD FY15 President’s Budget Request”