Obama’s final defense budget will be a huge headache for the next POTUS

There is a defense budget crisis on the horizon, but the Pentagon is hiding its head in the sand. Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s reluctance to deal with it threatens to waste billions and saddle the next president with a political time bomb before she/he even sets foot in the White House. …

According to a Jan. 27 report by budget guru Todd Harrison at the centrist Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), many of the new weapon systems the Pentagon plans to build will reach their peak funding requirements at the same time, around 2022. This is known in defense jargon as a modernization “bow wave” and, given budget caps and limited resources, there will not be enough money to pay for it. Continue reading

Extra F-35s and F/A-18s in US Budget 2016

The $1.15 trillion spending package would fund the government in Fiscal 2016 if passed by both chambers of Congress. It includes $572.7 billion for defence, of which $111 billion procures new hardware and $69.8 funds research and development.

If passed, the spending deal would bless the F-35 programme with $1.33 billion in additional procurement money for an extra three F-35As, six F-35Bs and two F-35Cs, just as production ramps up in Fort Worth, Texas.
Continue reading

Military investment is still a significant global problem

http://www.paxchristi.net/news/world-military-expenditure-2014-military-investment-still-significant-global-problem/4467

On this Global Day of Action on Military Spending, 13 April 2015, Pax Christi International expresses deep concern about the scandal of excessive military spending in a world where human and ecological well-being are in dire need of investment. Figures recently published by SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, estimate world military expenditures in real terms for 2014 at roughly $ 1.8 trillion, a significant increase from the already shocking $ 1.75 trillion spent in 2013.
Continue reading

5% Digest (Week 23/03/15)

Gregory D. Johnsen wrote a detailed account of the rise of Huthis in Yemen. Adam Baron argued that the power struggle is primarily local and foreign intervention will be a very bad idea.

But what is abundantly clear at the moment is that this remains, by and large, an internal Yemeni political conflict—one that, despite frequent sectarian mischaracterizations and potential regional implications, remains deeply rooted in local Yemeni issues.

And if history is a guide, foreign intervention will only stand to exacerbate the situation. Ironically, talk now centers on a potential Saudi Arabian and Egyptian military intervention in Yemen, a scenario that immediately brought to mind the memory of North Yemen’s 1960s Civil War which saw both sides intervene—albeit on different sides—in a matter which only appeared to draw the conflict out further. This is not to say that there isn’t a place for foreign powers to aid Yemeni factions in negotiating some new political settlement. But any nation that aims to make Yemen’s fight their own is more than likely to come out on the losing side.

Continue reading

5% Digest (week 09/03/15)

British MPs voted in favour of keeping defence spending at 2% of GDP. Just 40 MPs voted and the result carries no legal force.

Rory Stewart, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border and chairman of the defence select committee, warned MPs that Britain could not continue to rely on the military might of America and be a “freeloader”. “This 2% is needed because the threats are real. The world is genuinely getting more dangerous,” he said.

Continue reading

Massive war budget remains despite Afghanistan pullout

Stephanie Gaskell, “Pentagon Wants to Keep Controversial War Budget Beyond Afghanistan,” 5 March 2014, Defense One

… But despite the massive drawdown, Pentagon officials want to keep a comparably oversized war chest funded well into next year, quickly raising eyebrows among members of Congress.

The fiscal year 2015 budget calls for $79 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, which funds the war in Afghanistan and other overseas operations. Although the U.S.footprint in Afghanistan has shrunk over the past couple of years, the war budget has stayed robust. This year Congress approved $85 billion for the account.
Continue reading