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ISSUE #24 Legislative Insights: U.S. Congress sets up Budget Markers for 2018 Defense Policy Bill ----Why must the House Bill exceed the $696 billion versus the current 2018 spending caps of $549 billion?

To answer that question we must review the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that outlined the 2018 military policy, suggested budget, increase in military personnel pay, more ships, plans, and recruitment of military personnel. The Budget Control Act of 2011 that the Obama Administration that limited military spending.

To make matters, more confusing for the Department of Defense, the Senate created its own bill of only $640 billion, but it also exceeded the 2011 caps. Part of the bill will grant transition surgery and hormone treatment for the recruitment of LGBT troops. Even the GOP refused to include spending for a border wall and thus are allowing more illegal immigrants to the current pool of over 12million who take US Citizen’s worker jobs, and the importation of Heroin and other drugs that will require $64 billion for the treatment of addicts in the USA.

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BUDGET CONTROL ACT OF 2011

In a June 20, 2017 opinion piece by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney, they made a threat statement, “North Korea is making alarming progress in its ballistic-missile and nuclear-weapons programs. Russia and China are developing and fielding advanced weapons against which the U.S. may not be able to defend. Al Qaeda operates in more countries than ever. Islamic State is targeting the West and launching attacks throughout Europe and the Middle East. Iran is supporting terrorist organizations across the globe, modernizing its ballistic-missile and other capabilities and likely continuing to pursue nuclear weapons.” We cannot forget President Obama and his progressives gave over $150 billion to Iran in a “mixed assortment of currencies” that could not be traced. In addition, signed a treaty allowing Iran to develop Atomic Bombs in the long run. -Quite dangerous to myself and every patriot in America.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, “Today, every operating domain—including outer space, air, sea, undersea, land and cyberspace—is contested.” Rep. Mac Thornberry (R., Texas), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote in an opinion piece with the WSJ, “More than half of the Navy’s aircraft can’t fly because they are awaiting parts or maintenance, and the Air Force is short about 1,500 pilots and 3,000 mechanics.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote, “Without sustained, sufficient and predictable funding, I assess that within five years we will lose our ability to project power; the basis of how we defend the homeland, advance U.S. interests, and meet our alliance commitments.”

Former Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, wrote, “The 2011 Budget Control Act, which mandated across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, at a time when threats were growing, has also done serious damage.” The Cheney’s had harsh written words for President Donald J. Trump. The White House has requested only 3% more funding for defense than Mr. Obama’s proposed 2018 budget, meaning the Pentagon would essentially tread water for at least a year—time the U.S. cannot spare in this threat environment. Instead of leading the effort to repeal the Budget Control Act, the White House budget envisions extending it by six years, to 2027. The president’s budget also cuts funding in absolutely essential areas, including $300 million from missile defense and $1 billion from Navy shipbuilding. In sum, the 2018 White House defense budget differs little from what Mr. Obama would have requested were he still president.” The US Senate went along with the Cheney’s recommendation of $640 billion. Still the US Defense Department wanted a base defense budget of $661 billion for 2018. So the House of Representatives exceeded that wish budget by $35 billion.

So it appears that the Congress should be happy except they face a veto from the President who asked for only 3% more funding for defense than Mr. Obama’s proposed 2018 budget and extending the 2011 Budget Control Act to 2027. The Trump administration submitted a $639 billion Pentagon budget request, which includes a baseline budget request of $575 billion and nearly $65 billion for overseas operations. That appears to be a good effort to limit the debt spiral on the American People.

US AIRFORCE

According to the 2017 Report, Air Superiority in 2030 Flight Plan, “Emerging integrated and networked air-to-air, surface-to-air, space and cyberspace threats, as well as aging and shrinking fleets of US weapon systems, threaten the Air Force’s ability to provide air superiority at the times and places required in the highly contested operational environments of 2030 and beyond.

The Air Force and the joint force will Increasingly rely on advantages provided by on-orbit assets for air superiority. As such, ensuring survivable space assets is essential. Development of the Space Mission Force and implementation of the Space Enterprise Vision are key components of the AS 2030 family of capabilities.

Development of cyber capabilities and Airmen who can operationally employ those capabilities is essential to air superiority in 2030 and beyond. The Air Force should develop cyber forces tailored for air component missions and priorities, including the protection of mission critical systems. Further provide new capabilities for the application of operational art across air, space, and cyberspace forces. Both materiel and non-materiel solutions should provide commanders in 2030 with the ability to synchronize forces across domains, with or without direct contact with those forces.”

USNAVY

The US Navy faces a challenge as the PRC PLAN expands it blue water reach and Iran’s Navy threats US Shipping. John Lehman, secretary of the Navy under President Reagan wrote, “Two independent bipartisan commissions have called for the fleet to be increased from its roughly 270 ships to 350, a number President Trump has said he supports. The Navy’s 2016 Force Structure Assessment calls for 355 ships. These proposals weigh budget constraints; otherwise the target would be higher.”

In the 1950s, a nuclear submarine, a solid-fuel missile, an underwater launch system, a nuclear warhead and a guidance system—went from the drawing board to deployment in four years (and using slide rules). Today, according to the Defense Business Board, the average development timeline for much less complex weapons is 22.5 years.

The Navy is also short on aircraft, with roughly half the number needed to maintain even the current force structure. The Pentagon should make the F-35 compete against the F-18 to establish the optimum—and lowest-cost—mix of both aircraft. In the future, drones will play an important role on carriers and may evolve into the dominant system. But that day is not yet here.”

These of course are just a few examples of a US Military with platforms that are out-of-date and require huge amount of maintenance in a time of decreasing enlistments

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National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Along with defense spending, the bill contains a number of provisions for civilian agencies. One such section allows retired employees to return to the federal workforce without taking a cut to their salaries.Another requires agencies to conduct a survey of employees every two years to identify instances of harassment and discrimination.

The bill also includes the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), sweeping legislation that redefines the roles of chief information officers in civilian agencies. Defense Department CIOs are specifically left out of the FITARA language, as defense is addressed later in the bill.

CONCLUSION

On Friday July 16, 2017, the US House of Representatives passed its version of a massive annual defense bill, leaving out controversial topics on transgender troops and climate policy. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sets military policy and authorizes up to $696 billion in spending for the Department of Defense. It faces more hurdles before it can become law, mostly because it would increase military spending beyond last year's $619 billion bill. This defies "sequestration" caps on government spending set in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

On July 15, 2017, On Wednesday, Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain said that he will do whatever it takes to make sure military spending is increased in the next budget bill even if means shutting down the U.S. government. In an interview with CNN, McCain said that he wouldn't vote for a continuing resolution, which is a funding bill that maintains previous spending levels. The senator added, "I will not vote for a CR no matter what the consequences because passing a CR destroys the ability of the military to defend this nation, and it puts the lives of the men and women in the military at risk."

Congress seems to forget that our key military competitors are China (PRC) PLAN and North Korea are a key threat great than its “Russia hate fixations” that are carried on by the Senators like John McCain and Representatives like Maxime Waters. In this environment of political grandstanding for Press attention to continue to be paid by the US taxpayers, the focus of the US Military is being politically dimmed and distorted

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GMCstream is an American Silicon Valley print and digital publication that tracks the trends, drivers, and technologies that fuel the Aerospace and Defense communication sectors. Established in 2013 as a technology driven digital on-line publishing organization - We research, analyze, and highlight MILCOM problems and solutions that may affect Global National Security.

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