View Full Version : Administration seeks $401.6 billion for ’05 defense spending

28 Jan 04,, 02:03
Administration seeks $401.6 billion for ’05 defense spending

By Vince Crawley
Times staff writer

The Bush administration will seek a $401.7 billion defense budget for fiscal 2005.
That is a 7 percent increase over this fiscal year, but the amount does not include funding for the war on terror or ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In an unusual break with tradition, Defense Department officials publicly released the total amount of the 2005 budget request — the “topline,” in Pentagon parlance — late in the day on Friday, Jan. 23.

Usually, the size of the new military budget is closely guarded until the president formally sends his request for the entire federal budget to Capitol Hill, which is scheduled this year for Feb. 2. Details of the new defense budget plan will not be unveiled until that date.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said the budget for fiscal 2005, which begins Oct. 1, will be an update of the current 2004 budget, rather than a complete rewrite. Rumsfeld has sought permission to build two-year defense budgets as part of his bid to reduce Pentagon bureaucracy, but Congress is hesitant to cede annual financial oversight of the military.

Rumsfeld’s comptroller, Dov Zakheim, recently told defense reporters that the administration will not pursue an additional emergency supplemental request for 2004 on top of the $87 approved by Congress late last year. White House officials, gearing up for the November elections, have made similar statements.

The Pentagon is spending about $60 billion this year to keep troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and current deployment plans call for about 110,000 troops to still be in Iraq when the new fiscal year begins.

Defense Department officials said their fiscal 2005 defense budget plan “provides for investment in improved and better-integrated intelligence capabilities and emphasizes readiness and training.”

The proposal also will support “continued transformation of the joint force” and provide funds for homeland security, according to a Pentagon statement.


06 Feb 04,, 04:35
That's only a 1 billion dollar incease though right and it is probably because our economy is growing :w00t

09 Feb 04,, 04:07
Whatever we pay its worth it.

Officer of Engineers
22 Mar 04,, 03:08

War Plans Meaner, Not Leaner
Streamlining was promised but has not occurred--and postwar strategy still gets short shrift.
By William M. Arkin
William M. Arkin is a military affairs analyst who writes regularly for Opinion. E-mail: warkin@igc.org.

March 21, 2004

SOUTH POMFRET, Vt. — When Donald Rumsfeld was named secretary of Defense in 2001, he made clear that his department would break with the past. He vowed to abandon outmoded Cold War military planning and eliminate Clinton-era strategies that officials felt were both bloated and misdirected.

Now the Rumsfeld revision has been quietly unveiled, and the ambitious new strategy, far from streamlining the process, actually increases both the number of contingencies that war planners must consider and the number of plans they must prepare.

Part of what has engorged the new approach to planning is the need for a wider range of military options in a post-9/11 world. But the strategy also reflects the Bush administration's ambitious new approach to world affairs.

The Rumsfeld plan envisions what it labels a "1-4-2-1 defense strategy," in which war planners prepare to fully defend one country (the United States), maintain forces capable of "deterring aggression and coercion" in four "critical regions" (Europe, Northeast Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East and Southwest Asia), maintain the ability to defeat aggression in two of these regions simultaneously, and be able to "win decisively" — up to and including forcing regime change and occupying a country — in one of those conflicts "at a time and place of our choosing."

The new strategy embraces the administration's philosophy of preemptive strikes as well as the Rumsfeld vision of integrating special and covert operations and nuclear weapons into future conventional military planning. At a time when American military forces are already stretched to the limit, the new strategy goes far beyond preparing for reactive contingencies and reads more like a plan for picking fights in new parts of the world.

In the Clinton era, the Pentagon planned for fighting two wars simultaneously (in the Middle East and Northeast Asia). Under the new strategy, it must prepare for four. As a result, the Pentagon must redirect its thinking toward smaller, leaner strike forces, able to get the job done with fewer troops by making use of powerful precision weapons and newly developed information technologies. Troops will be placed closer to target areas with a new network of overseas bases, and regular forces will be integrated with special operations and augmented by CIA and other nonmilitary personnel.

Although Rumsfeld originally hoped to reduce the number of war plans needed, a senior Defense Department civilian official says the desire for more flexibility has actually resulted in "more scenarios" and "a larger number of permutations," of a sort that could ultimately necessitate more defense spending.

The 1-4-2-1 construct, first spelled out in Contingency Planning Guidance signed by President Bush in August 2002 and refined over the last year, orders the military to prepare 68 war plans. Under Bill Clinton, the military had 66 such plans. Under the Rumsfeld strategy the new plans will be focused on "theaterwide" rather than "country-specific" scenarios. The change reflects an attitude in Rumsfeld's inner circle, especially after the rapid victory in Afghanistan, that American military forces are so good they can take on any nation using the same general plan with little country-specific preparation.

Despite Rumsfeld's early conviction to eliminate Cold War "bloat" and Clinton excesses, some major aspects of war planning haven't changed much. Now, as then, the cornerstone of planning is to ready the country for the possibility of large-scale wars against Iraq and North Korea. Now, as then, plans are being readied in the event of war with Iran. Now, as then, Russia is virtually ignored as a conventional military opponent, and China was relegated to the "too-hard-to-plan-for" category.

But other things have changed dramatically. Sept. 11 necessitated the Defense Department's revision of some of its mission. The military now has "campaign plans" for both the global war on terrorism and for homeland security. One such document, the super-secret "OPLAN 2525," outlines contingencies up to and including the military taking control in the event of a breakdown of civil authority after a massive terrorist attack. And the Special Operations Command has been directed for the first time to prepare plans to conduct its own covert operations.

The planning strategy also for the first time fully integrates special operations and the CIA into its war plans, undoubtedly because both forces made such major contributions to the military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rumsfeld's new approach also integrates nuclear planning into the more generalized war planning. Knowledgeable Defense officials say the "segregation" of nuclear and conventional war planning for scenarios such as North Korea and China has formally ended. The 1-4-2-1 approach, says one consultant study prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, "is allowing strategic nuclear capabilities to become but one component of a spectrum of potential strategic responses to global terrorism and rogue nations, rather than a separate level of capability."

The approach would almost certainly result in further increases in defense spending. To facilitate a more comprehensive approach to global defense and warfare, overseas bases are likely to be expanded and new ones opened in order to allow for pre-positioning of heavy equipment overseas. Faster ships will be needed, as will more aerial refuelers and increased airlift capacity.

The military also must expand and reorganize its strike forces. Already, the Army is reassigning some 18,000 regular soldiers to special operations, homeland defense and chemical/biological units. The Navy is nearly doubling the number of its strike groups (from 19 to 37). The Air Force is buying smaller smart bombs to be able to deliver more weapons to more targets.

During the summer of 2001, Rumsfeld, making the kind of ABC (anything but Clinton) statement common in the new administration, attacked the military planning process. Quoting from a much-read military history of the Pearl Harbor attack, he said planning was obscured by "a routine obsession with a few dangers that may be familiar rather than likely."

The planning model Rumsfeld and company have embraced is certainly more ambitious. It covers domestic and foreign contingencies and favors preemption over diplomacy, and military strikes over peacekeeping operations. The plan signals to the world that the United States considers nuclear weapons useful military instruments, to be employed where warranted.

But in their single-minded desire to maintain global strike forces at the ready, Rumsfeld and his planners betray a blind spot. Military triumphs are only part of the picture. Unless as much planning goes into the peace that follows victory, even the best-laid war plans can't create a better world.

26 Apr 04,, 07:13
Whatever we pay its worth it.
- Leader

At least 708 American Soldiers are dead.

List of Causalties from the War in Iraq.

(Graphical breakdown of casualties) may be found by clicking on Causalties link and looke for a link saying (Graphical breakdown of casualties) in the text on the top of the page (third line from top).

List of POW/MIA from the War in Iraq.

Have the fallen soldiers paid enough yet?

26 Apr 04,, 10:00
Let's cut this discussion HERE and NOW.

Give it to them immediately and let the whine stop! :)