EMAIL SIGN UP!
The press releases posted here have been submitted by
For further information or to comment on this press release, please contact the organization directly.
Most Popular This Week
Today's Top News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pentagon Budget Faces Uncertain Future During Economic Crisis
Momentum Accelerates for Reform; Budget Cuts Possible
WASHINGTON - February 3 - In a new report released today, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation analyzed the uncertain future facing the Pentagon budget now that the country is embroiled in an economic crisis and a new administration is in power.
The report documents the skyrocketing recent growth in defense spending, catalogs calls for budget cuts by key policymakers, looks at the complicated procedure the fiscal year 2010 budget is set to follow, and provides background information on four weapons systems to watch in 2009: the F-22 Raptor, DDG-1000 destroyer, Future Combat Systems, and missile defense.
With defense industry jobs at stake in a sagging economy, conversations about cutting weapons systems are no longer the purely academic exercise they were during the Bush years, when military budget reductions were unfathomable. While some have sounded alarm bells about potential job losses that could accompany defense budget cuts, others have highlighted underfunded domestic programs and argued that alternative types of spending stimulate the economy more than spending on defense.
"In a time of increasingly scarce defense dollars, it is critical to optimize each and every penny invested in national security," said Travis Sharp, the report's author who serves as military policy analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. "The Holy Grail now is to reform the acquisitions process so that smart decisions are made early on about which weapons systems to buy. In this way we could at least get some positive reform out of the current budget crisis."
Over the last decade, U.S. defense spending has risen dramatically. According to the report, national defense budgets including war funding have grown in inflation-adjusted dollars from $403 billion in fiscal year 1999 to $708 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 75% increase. "The Obama administration's procurement motto appears to be ‘relevance to the current missions,'" added Sharp. "While the new administration recognizes the importance of preparing for future threats, they regard operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as the top priority."
Concluded Sharp: "Going forward, this approach may mean an even more people-focused defense budget that invests in affordable weapons systems that help our troops today, not 25 years down the road."