Wednesday, November 23, 2011

9/21/11 RD Bulletin: Panetta-McKeon Stonewall; Obama Throws Smoke

ed. Ethan R. Rosenkranz

State of Play 

Legislative: The Super Committee meets again in private this week, holding a second closed-door session on Tuesday to discuss its upcoming spending reduction proposal.  Last week, a bipartisan group of more than thirty senators urged the Super Committee to find at least $4 trillion in savings by embracing tax and entitlement reforms.  HASC Chairman Buck McKeon is considering leading an effort to "wall off" defense spending from any automatic sequestration cuts and the Chairman is preparing a briefing document for the Super Committee showing the potential consequences of additional Pentagon spending reductions.      

Executive: On Monday, President Obama outlined his own deficit reduction and job creation plan, which included recommendations for reforming TRICARE and addressing military retirement costs.  The President also counted more than $1 trillion in savings from CBO baseline by winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Service chiefs, led by Secretary Panetta, fight against further cuts to the defense budget, as they acknowledge that the Defense Department will have to become smaller and leaner.  Sec. Panetta is preparing guidance for how the services can advocate to Congress against spending cuts. 


Washington Post: Defense Department Needs to Change Spending Culture 
Walter Pincus opines: "Rational reductions in defense spending will only come with cutting down what this country expects its military to do."  (9/20/11) 
Gordon Adams explains the follies in counting savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (9/19/11) 

The Will and the Wallet: A $10B Move 
The Senate Appropriations Committee moves almost $10 billion from DoD's base budget into the OCO account.  (9/16/11) 

BusinessWeek: Probing the Pentagon's Fuzzy Math 
Bloomberg report challenges sixty percent of the Pentagon's $178 billion in efficiency savings as "illusory." (9/1/11)

Other News and Commentary

American Forces Press Service: Panetta: Cuts Will Boost Risk to Nation At War
Def. Sec. Panetta lists the priorities that will guide spending decisions at the Pentagon following enactment of the Budget Control Act.  (9/20/11)

Gen. Stephane Abrial outlines the funding challenges facing NATO as European nations cut back on defense spending.  (9/20/11)

John McManus argues that post-conflict troop reductions throughout U.S. history have been ill-advised.  (October 2011)

Def. Sec. Panetta will soon issue guidance to the services on interacting with Congress as additional defense cuts loom.  (9/20/11)

The Pentagon may be considering delaying production of 100 F-35s in order to meet spending reduction targets.  (9/19/11)

Secretary Michael Donly lists the Air Force's upcoming spending priorities.  (9/19/11)

Cracks are beginning to appear in the once staunchly-pro defense spending GOP caucus.  (9/18/11)

How the Budget Control Act could impact the NNSA budget, U.S. nuclear readiness, and modernization efforts.  (September 2011)

Overview of an array of reforms being considered by the services and the arguments being put forth by key pro-defense lawmakers.  (9/16/11)

The Weekly Standard continues to spread the claim that the Pentagon could face more than $1 trillion in cuts over the next decade.  (9/16/11)

Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides understands that State might have to compete for security dollars with DoD and supports the idea of a unified security budget.  (9/1/11)

Reports and Releases

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments: Sustaining Critical Sectors of the U.S. Defense Industrial Base
Report analyzes the resources needed to sustain the military industrial base over the next decade.  (9/20/11)

President Obama's new deficit reduction and job creation plan.  (9/19/11)

Commission concludes that at least $31-60 billion has been lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade.  (August 2011)