Opinion: DOD Must Protect Industrial Base From Cuts

December 15, 2011

As sequestration looks more likely by the day, the Defense Department faces the challenge of a new fiscal reality. After more than a decade of increasing budgets, the Pentagon has been slow to react. Its five-year budget plan, released last February, planned for continued growth — despite calls from both parties to cut federal spending and the deficit.

The Pentagon’s new 2013 budget plan would bring the base defense budget down only slightly from its current $530 billion level and hold it relatively flat in future years. Sequestration, by comparison, would reduce the 2013 defense budget to about $472 billion — roughly the same as 2007 spending, adjusted for inflation.

This new fiscal reality will require hard choices. The department will have to rethink its roles and missions, adjust its strategy and target budget cuts accordingly.

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