Wednesday, November 23, 2011

9/14/11 RD Bulletin: Opposition to Deep Cuts Builds

ed. Ethan R. Rosenkranz

State of Play

Legislative: Pro-defense lawmakers and members of the Armed Services Committee continue to push back against the prospects of any further defense spending cuts beyond those implemented by the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Often citing comments by former Secretary Gates and current Secretary Panetta that further cuts would be "devastating" to the armed services, lawmakers are urging the deficit Super Committee to focus on entitlements during its deliberations and spare security spending from any further reductions.  Super Committee member Sen. Kyl stated that he would leave the Super Committee if it were to consider further cuts to the Pentagon's budget.  In the event that the Super Committee fails to produce a deficit reduction package, Sen. Kyl believes he can find ways to prevent automatic sequestration cuts from impacting defense spending. 

Executive: In response to expected cuts of between $350 billion (compared to CBO baseline) to $500 billion (compared to the President's FY12 budget request) over the next decade, the Pentagon has instructed the services to resubmit spending plans that were originally provided on August 23 to comply with new spending restrictions enacted in the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Sec. Panetta continues to push back against the prospect of additional sequestration cuts of roughly $500-600 billion.   Strategic cuts being considered, include: the Army cutting 10-15 brigade combat teams and reducing its end strength by 27,000 starting in 2015; the Navy reducing the number of cruisers and aircraft carriers in its fleet and reducing its total fleet to somewhere in the 200s; and the Marine Corps reducing end strength by at least 25,000.

News Articles and Commentary Official: Overseas Troop Reductions 'On the Table'
During his confirmation hearing, Undersecretary of Defense Ashton Carter tells SASC Chairman Levin that overseas troop reductions are "on the table."  (9/14/11)

Article detailing the aerospace industry's lobbying effort against defense budget cuts.  (9/14/11)

During Senate markup of the defense appropriations bill, lawmakers recommended terminating the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and cutting $1.2 billion from the Air Force's F-35 program.  (9/13/11)

HASC Chairman McKeon says he would support raising some taxes in order to prevent further defense cuts.  (9/12/11)

Walter Pincus responds to comments by pro-defense lawmakers who oppose further curtailments on Pentagon spending.  (9/12/11)

Matthew Leatherman opines that defense appropriators may find security off-sets in the State-Foreign-Operations budget in FY12.  (9/12/11)

The Will and the Wallet: BCA Fingerprints on Senate 302(b)
Examination of the new Senate 302(b) allocations and their impact on security spending.  (9/12/11)

Chairman McKeon argues that the structure of the Super-Committee indicates that the majority of cuts will come from the Pentagon.  (9/12/11)

The F-35 will not cost $65 per unit in 2010 dollars.  (9/12/11)
Preview of Congressional talking points in opposition to defense spending reductions.  (9/8/11)

Kate Brannen discusses GOP presidential contenders' differing positions on military spending.  (9/8/11)

Overview of a press conference held by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments discussing the potential for defense spending reductions of as much as 31%.  (9/8/11)

For a copy of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments' report, please click here.

Joe Gould details the Army's new "affordability targets" and its efforts to work with contractors to eliminate "budget-busting requirements."  (9/8/11)
Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno discusses the likely shrinking of the Army's active duty force size(9/8/11) 

Battleland: 2009 Chart shows job creation effects of military spending
Mark Thompson shares a chart from 2009 showing the job creation effects of military spending versus other forms of government stimulus.  (9/8/11) 
Article details more than $35 billion spent on homeland security grants (some on dubious items) since 9/11.  (9/2/11)

Analysis of the United States' response to 9/11: Was the response appropriate and wise, and were the results productive or do they indicate the need for a new security paradigm? (9/2011)

Update to a 2008 Washington Post article that calculated the true costs of post-9/11 U.S. military engagements to be between $3-5 trillion.  (9/1/11)

New Wartime Contracting Commission report finds that up to $60 billion has been lost to waste and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (8/31/11)

Reports and Releases

Defense Subcommittee allocation remains unchanged from FY11, but is $24 billion less than the President's FY12 request.  (9/7/11)