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2006 United States Federal Budget-Department of Defense (proposed)

From dKosopedia


See: White House budget:OMB Proposed 2006 Budget


This is not the budget for the war. This is the budget of military systems that aren't involved in a war right now and aren't particularly likely to be in the near future. There is no reason that this part of the budget should be spared while deep cuts are made in the domestic discretionary budget.

By service branch the spending is $127.5 billion for the Air Force (up 8.2%), $125.6 billion for the Navy (up 5.4%) and $100 billion for the Army (a 0.3% decline that will be made up with the Army getting the lion's share of the $80 billion supplemental appropriation).

The key points to keep in mind when looking at the Department of Defense budget are:

These cuts are appropriate, although they may be too small. The F-22 is a plane that has some purpose, but the shift from a huge number of F-22s to a "silver bullet" force, in light of reduced threats makes sense. Our nuclear submarine fleet is actually quite new with significant service life left and the Navy doesn't even really want any more of them. The main reason we are buying new submarines at all right now is to keep the manufacturing skill base necessary to build them in place. There is no new threat that justifies a new generation of destroyer, and there are good reasons to be skeptical about any major new investment in large surface naval ships that could be vulnerable to massed cruise missiles, submarines and other threats that are hard to defend against. The main weapon associated with the DD(X), a railgun, is unproven technology that is likely to result in cost overruns and delays. National missile defense doesn't work even in tests designed to give the system an edge. It is still not clear if the V-22 will be reliable enough to play the central role in military planning it was supposed to fulfill. There were technological problems with the C-130J program. Cuts in the Marine's EFV reflect that fact that we have sufficient resources already to make any anticipated amphibious assaults making this purchase less urgent. The Future Combat System redesign makes sense.

The only program cut that may not make sense is the Joint Common Missile program. This is designed to create a successor to the Army's Hellfire missiles (inlcuding the longbow varriant) and the Air Force's Maverick missiles, among others common to all the services so that production costs could be reduced. Missiles are not cheap. Each one costs about $60,000-$120,000 and the military buys tens of thousands of them. They do their job, but even a modest reduction in missile cost by having one missile for all of the services could save a bundle of money in the long term. Presumably the cuts are based on the reasonable assumption that large numbers of missiles are already stockpiled and that the military opponents the U.S. is likely to face in the foreseeable future are unlikely to have large numbers of tanks that the missiles are needed to destroy.

Simply limiting the growth in Air Force spending and leaving the Navy at its status quo spending level, by reducing proposals for spending from each of those services by 5%, cutting national missile defense from $8.8 billion a year to a $1.8 billion figure more appropriate for an early stage experimental program, and cutting nuclear weapons development could save about $22 billion ($220 billion over ten years), on top of the $5.5 billion a year of cuts already proposed by the Pentegon. A further 5% cut from proposed levels (for a total of 10%) for the standing Air Force and Navy not deployed in the war effort, would save another $12 billion a year ($220 billion over ten years).

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This page was last modified 14:29, 6 July 2006 by Chad Lupkes. Based on work by Andrew Oh-Willeke and dKosopedia user(s) PatriotismOverProfits and Lestatdelc. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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