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Posts Tagged ‘automatic spending cuts’

Governors Fight Proposed Cuts to Army National Guard

  • February 25, 2014
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Despite recommending a smaller proportional cut on personnel in the Amy National Guard than on the active Army in its five-year budget, the Obama administration is taking flak from the nation’s governors for targeting soldiers and aircraft in the Guard. There’s “unanimity” against cuts among state executives gathered in Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association’s winter meeting, Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) told reporters Monday …

Pentagon Spending Plan Quickly Generates Capitol Hill Opposition

  • February 25, 2014
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Republican lawmakers largely denounced the cuts in force structure and changes in military benefits outlined Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, while Democrats mainly questioned some of the proposals in DOD’s five-year spending plan. “We are going to kill it, not let it happen,” vowed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “I just think it is taking the Army down to a level where you restrain your ability to fight the war that comes your way. The best way to fight a war is deterrence, and I think readiness at the number you are talking about, I just don’t think [the Army] is equipped for the threats you face …

FY ’15 Budget Reveals Scope of Cuts Needed to Address Spending Caps

  • February 25, 2014
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The Army’s active-duty end strength would be reduced to between 440,000 and 450,000 under the five-year budget proposal unveiled Monday by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The long-term budget included with the fiscal 2015 budget request, the department’s first to fully reflect the transition DOD is making after 13 years of war, adheres to the spending caps in place next year but exceeds the Budget Control Act caps for the following four years by $115 billion. As a result, the Army would be forced to draw down to an end strength of 420,000 if sequester cuts are not reversed in FY 2016 …

Army Corps Looks to Remake Itself, Chief Engineer Says

  • February 20, 2014
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The Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will need to refashion itself as the surge in spending on military construction since 2001 comes to end and headquarters’ staffs are required to be streamlined, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, the Corps’ commander, said this week.

The Corps “executed an extraordinarily large military program” in the last decade, worth nearly $30 billion at its peak in 2008, Bostick told the Army News Service. The work supported the 2005 round of BRAC, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other efforts …

Wish List Could Encourage Lawmakers to Tinker with DOD’s Budget Request

  • February 20, 2014
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The Defense Department’s intent to attach a $26 billion list of unfunded requirements to its fiscal 2015 budget request could have unintended consequences, as appropriators swap out programs included in the administration’s proposal for favored programs that failed to make the cut. Including a list of second-tier priorities with the budget request also could embolden service chiefs to push Congress to fund programs that were left out of DOD’s baseline spending plan …

Active Army Shouldn’t Drop below 450,000 Troops, Odierno Says

  • February 12, 2014
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Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said Tuesday the service needs at least 450,000 active-duty soldiers to counter conflicts that are likely to arise in the future, a direct response to the possibility the force could be trimmed to an end strength as small as 420,000 to cope with deep spending cuts. During a panel discussion hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Odierno said the Army’s minimum end strength should be 980,000 soldiers, including 335,000 in the National Guard and 195,000 in the Reserve, reported DoDBuzz. The active-duty force currently is scheduled to fall to 490,000 troops by the end of fiscal 2015 …

DOD Official Questions Contractors’ Optimistic Sales Forecasts

  • February 10, 2014
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The Pentagon’s acting industrial base chief expressed skepticism last week about the number of defense contractors predicting that the worst impacts from sequestration soon will be over, with the automatic cuts starting to ease in fiscal 2016. “We’re not sure at DoD that we quite see the budget environment quite that way,” Elana Broitman, acting deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing and industrial base policy, said during her remarks at the Cowen Aerospace/Defense & Transportation Conference. “If we don’t do anything that changes sequestration after fiscal year ’15, then we’re stuck with flat, no-inflation budgets which don’t take account of the new initiatives, new requirements, that need to be funded …

Defense Spending to Gain Upper Hand over Deficit Reduction in Long-Term Budget

  • February 10, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 budget request for the Pentagon is expected to adhere to the budget caps revised in last December’s budget agreement, but at the same time the White House is encouraging DOD to include a $26 billion “wish list” of unfunded priorities in the proposal scheduled to be released next month. The department’s FY 2015 base budget will be about $496 billion. However, White House officials were surprised by many of the cuts DOD included in its draft budget proposal, especially the elimination of one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers …

Budget Cuts Require Balancing Act, Hagel Says; Work Nominated for Deputy Slot

  • February 9, 2014
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Short on specifics, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized the need to take “a holistic point of view” as Pentagon officials fine-tune the fiscal 2015 budget request. The key is to balance readiness, modernization and capability as planners look for places to trim about $41 million from the FY 2015 spending level the department envisioned one year ago, he told reporters Friday during a Pentagon press briefing. “Now, will there be cuts across the board? Of course there will. You can’t do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across the board? Of course …

Exercise Allows Think Tanks to Prepare Alternative Defense Budgets

  • February 5, 2014
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Four Washington think tanks offered their own takes on the Pentagon’s new long-term budget during an event Wednesday hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). All four groups — CSBA, along with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the American Enterprise Institute — were forced to trim personnel and weapons systems under a budget scenario that followed the sequester caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. All four focused significant cuts in end strength on the Army …

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