October 25, 2013  

How to think about DoD’s budget choices | Split NSA/CyberCom? | CBO on USN

CSBA's Harrison: Budget proposals on the table ignore BCA caps -- and history.

CSBA’s Harrison: Budget proposals on the table ignore BCA caps — and history.

CSBA’s Todd Harrison crunched the numbers and found that, if history is any guide, the budget levels prescribed under sequestration are likely a ceiling, not a floor. That suggests, he said at a briefing yesterday, that the White House and DoD ought to forget about pitching a 2015 budget proposal that hopes for an increase, and instead send one that at least reflects choices made within the Budget Control Act framework. (Stories: Defense News, DoDBuzz. Harrison’s report.)

(Oh, the idea that the military services are more or less locked into an eternal 1/3-1/3-1/3 budgetary split? It’s a myth, Harrison says.)

Among the tough choices, Harrison said, is whether to accept more risk now or later — that is, whether the 2015 budget should prioritize current readiness or the development of tomorrow’s weapons. At AUSA, there were mixed signals, but plenty of evidence that current readiness is the priority. See “Sequester Squeezes Army in Weapons Acquisitions” (Politico), “Army Begins Procurement Holiday That Could Last Five Years” (National Defense), and “The Takeaway From AUSA” (Loren Thompson, Lexington Institute)

The debate about splitting NSA and U.S. CyberCom has been heating up; former EUCOM Adm. James Stavridis says it’s time to dissolve the marriage. And here’s Aliya Sternstein’s take at NextGov.

The Congressional Budget Office analyzes the Navy’s 2014 shipbuilding plan.

Warlord’s Quote

“The necessity of procuring good intelligence is apparent and need not be further urged.” — President George Washington

Contributed by Maj. James King, a Military Intelligence officer currently serving as the Division Intelligence Planner at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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