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AUSN Blogs

30

Happening in Washington that Might Affect YOU!

November 2011

By now just about everyone has heard that the “Super Committee” of twelve failed to reach an agreement on reducing the national debt. In accordance with the Budget Control Act of 2011 therefore sequestration is set to occur which mandates a $1.2 Trillion cut over ten years split evenly between defense and, generally speaking, entitlements. That means that beginning in 2013 the Pentagon is facing and additional $600 Billion in cuts beyond the approximately $400 Billion already called for by the President as the 2012 budget works its way through Congress. In recent weeks key members of both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have spoken out against implementing such draconian cuts to America’s defense as has Secretary Panetta and the Service Chiefs.

So, what is the plan? Our sources inside Navy Pentagon tell us that the DoD has thus far not planned for the additional $600 B in cuts. While the President has made it clear that he does not favor the sequestration events he has said that he won’t accept a role back of the target amount of $1.2 T established by the Budget Control Act. Indications are, nonetheless, that the White House is approaching the 2013 budget as if sequestration will not occur. Consensus seems to be that the Pentagon’s 2013 budget preparation will proceed normally although the word normally probably elicits a chuckle from those involved. Normal is never normal.

Regardless of what defense cuts make their way through the process there can be no doubt that the DoD budget is going to shrink. That should concern AUSN’s members and anyone concerned with defense for two reasons: 1) While the size of our defense forces are never truly driven by requirements instead of dollars, now it seems that unabashedly force structure will be dollar driven. 2) Downward pressure on the defense budget will further pressurize the discussion about a revamping of the military pay and benefits system. Pressure will mount to “civilianize” how we compensate our military particularly our retired veterans. AUSN and The Military Coalition will have to keep up a constant dialogue with key Congress members and staffers to ward off hasty and ill-conceived change that could materially affect our all volunteer force.

For a great discussion of what our future military might look like in the years ahead we refer you to an excellent piece published by the Center for a New American Security and authored by LtGen David W. Barno USA (Ret), Nora Bensahel, and Travis Sharp. You can find it at www.cnas.org/hardchoices. Our sources inside Navy Pentagon say the Navy thinks they have this about right.

Posted in: Capitol Hill Blog

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Alexander Eucare
# Alexander Eucare
Saturday, December 03, 2011 11:27 AM
Any attempt by Congress to balance the budget by reductions in defense, especially hardware, should be met by establishing a Civil Cadet Corps (CCC) patterned after the former Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the currrent ROTC, JROTC and the new PASS recently established among the southern States. With 23 million plus veterans nationwide, a cadre of instructors, coupled with establishment of a tuition free non-profit Online University (OU). With volunteers from veterans at large for the new CCC, and faculty for the OU from among volunteers among members of the Military Coalition. Funding from non-governmnt sources would be tasked to volunteer leaders forming Company sized units in each of the 170,000 plus precincts in the USA. The Active Duty members of the Services would be the core of Officers/Warrants/Specialists supported by annual service of ROTC graduates serving as enlistees. Serving in the CCC entitles each member and members of their immediate family to have access to the OU tuition free. The 170,000 Companies would be designated to serve all military servics.
CAPT C. J. Rabideau, JAGC, USNR ret
Saturday, December 03, 2011 4:04 PM
Some of us have lived long enough to understand that an all volunteer military creates a larger expense to the DOD budget vis a vis a Draft annual catchment of new E1's, ie many/post of the volunteer regulars past first enlistment are married with dependents. That added cost of dependent housing/schooliing/medical/ support services isn't cheap. As long as we are replacing the UK in the world post WW2, with out military folks all over the world, it is time ALL US citizenry join in the challenge. The current process has ruined the Reserve and Guard programs that were great support and modest cost. Even though the media and DOD says enlistment goats are met, that doesn't indicate the reenlistment needs vis a vis "goals" of DOD/NGB. Unless the overall program is reassessed in economic terms, the present policy is disaster headed. Bring back the draft. Jim Rabideau dob 2/21/26
#
Thursday, March 22, 2012 1:03 AM
Some of us have lived long enough to understand that an all volunteer military creates a larger expense to the DOD budget vis a vis a Draft annual catchment of new E1's Dropad D9

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