Saturday, October 27, 2018

Military budget to be cut back in 2020? Don't you dare feel sorry for them...they didn't act with a sense of urgency!!!

via Breaking Defense.
 The Pentagon has been ordered to slash its 2020 budget request by $33 billion, about five percent, the military’s No. 2 official said Friday. The surprise cut comes at a critical time for the department, which has enjoyed two years of budget growth under the Trump administration, and raises questions over key modernization programs.
Story here. 

We talked about this when Trump had a press conference (well the news media was invited into the Oval Office) and stated that he was going to ask EVERY dept in the govt to cut their budgets by 5%.

The news media and defense establishment went ape.

Did that include the DoD?

Well it does and I don't feel sorry for them one bit.


Because they failed to act with a sense of urgency.  They failed to plan for lean times ahead.  THEY STILL HAVEN'T sought to cut the fat.  We're still seeing bloated staffs, departments within the DoD that aren't focused on real defense issues etc...

The waste inside the Pentagon is legion.  The fact that we're still at war 18 years after it started is sickening.  The fact that we're in Syria to support a policy that has never been explained to the American people is criminal.  The idea that we have Special Ops and now Conventional Forces supporting them, scattered all over the globe in penny packets to support other nations is bewildering.

We've reached a point where the only way we will see change is by cutting spending.

Of course we can expect the usual solutions to this problem.  They'll cut troop levels instead of fat but if we can maintain just a little discipline (from Congress its unlikely) then we can finally see some things start to change.

What does this mean for modernization programs?

They'll do the usual again.

Push stuff to the right.

For the Marine Corps that probably means that the ACV will be slow walked even more (first vehicle doesn't hit till 2019), they'll TRY and stay the course with the F-35B and CH-53K but will probably have to adjust on both (the K is especially vulnerable...200 are on order but the GAO questioned the need for approx 50 of them) and the rest of it will probably stay in the pipeline but will see 5 years or more added to them.

For the Army and Navy I have no idea.

The service in the real hurt locker will be the Air Force.  No way in hell they'll get 1700 F-35A's. The KC-46 is already suffering a pain train and will be cut too.  I have no idea about the Next Gen Bomber but most worrying is the upgrades planned for a host of aircraft.

The scary thing?

Because of terrible planning and because leadership did not act with urgency we've given China an open field to close the gap.

One question needs to be asked.

Which is more important.

Defense leadership or economic strength?  I believe economic strength leads to defense leadership so this is a sound policy.  But one thing is missing. Unless we can get a bit of clarity on our foreign policy and push defense to a secondary instead of lead role then we will continue to be in trouble with the defense budget.

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