In Depth host Francis Rose gets analysis of the changes from Travis Sharp, research associate at the Center for a New American Security, and Danielle Pletka, vice president on Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the military is not the cause of the nation’s debt and deficits — but it needs to be part of the solution. And he said finding that solution could involve reexamining military pay and benefits.
The White House wants to carve out the prescription drug piece and give OPM the ability to negotiate prices through a third party. But experts say this change would cost employees more money and be the first step toward dismantling the entire Federal Employee Health Benefit program.
Defense Deputy Secretary Ashton Carter said for every dollar lawmakers add to the military’s budget or for every program they continue that the Pentagon wants to cancel, it requires cuts elsewhere. He also called sequestration irrational and said DoD is not planning for it.
Researchers are struggling to agree on the best method for comparing public and private sector compensation. Some analysts say the use of differing methods results in wildly varied conclusions.
Legislation requiring Defense Department to disclose budget-cutting contingency plans would be attached to ‘every bill that walks’
“Fog bank” of threatened automatic spending cuts makes predicting Defense policy under a re-elected President Obama difficult. But experts agree DoD is likely to take more cuts, with or without sequestration.
Defense budget watchers say despite abundant evidence to the contrary, the Pentagon appears to believe it will eventually get most of its funding wishes over the coming few years. “Whether [sequestration] stays in place for nine more years is an open question, but it’s certainly going to be in place for the foreseeable future,” said Mackenzie Eaglen, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
In an open letter to congressional leaders and to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a broad array of military scholars argue the cost of running the Pentagon bureaucracy soon will crowd out the spending necessary to fight and win wars.
A six-step plan for acquisition reform for the Defense Department.