Experts Debate Impact of Budget Cuts at Ft. Bragg
Fort Bragg, home of Army Special Operations Command and two new commands due to BRAC 2005, likely will experience fewer budget cuts than other installations as the Defense Department identifies $487 billion in spending cuts over the coming decade.
One national security analyst, however, believes Bragg could suffer the loss of a substantial mission if the Pentagon is forced to absorb additional cuts of up to $500 billion.
“If we go to this $900 billion in cuts, I’m not sure the 82nd Airborne [Division] is sure to survive. Everybody loves it, but not everybody is convinced it’s the most important thing we’ve got in this day and age,” Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution told the Fayetteville Observer. If the 82nd Airborne survives, though, it could lose three of its four brigades, he said.
Others did not agree, however, about the 82nd Airborne’s potential fate. “Who else would we have to go around and kick people’s butts? There’s plenty of stuff to be cut before you get to the ready brigade, it seems to me,” John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, told the paper.
And for his part, O’Hanlon doesn’t believe that lawmakers will allow the additional $500 billion in automatic spending cuts to be imposed on DOD.