Politics and Defense Capabilities: Local Interests versus Strategic Imperatives
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL STRATEGIC STUDIES QUARTERLY
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The debate over programs within the military budget will only become more intense as the United States struggles to revive a stagnant economy and the military experiences dramatic budget reductions over the next 10 years. However, the current economic environment is unique due to the energized focus on debt-reduction and fiscal responsibility. With both political parties interested in reining in US debt through the Budget Control Act of 2011, discretionary funds will inevitably become the target of deep cuts, leading to austere defense funding in the years ahead. Military planners are now attempting to eliminate all nonessential programs through massive cuts in the postwar budget, shrinking the size of each service branch, and making difficult decisions to abolish future programs, prioritized with resource considerations in mind. However, authorizing measures and the appropriations process provide elected officials the authority to alter Department of Defense DoD programs in part or in total. Congress has the power to appropriate funds for programs the individual services may not want or to defund those needing expansion. Congress also has the authority to prohibit the retirement of military platforms, even if they are outdated and costly. In short, the defense committees have the ability to influence long-term national security strategy by modifying the national resources committed to military programs.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science