As attention now turns to the FY 2014 budget and the Administration’s much-delayed budget request, the fundamental issues that led to uncertainty and delays in the FY 2013 budget remain unresolved.
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The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013, averted much of what has become known as the “fiscal cliff.” While the bill mostly deals with automatic changes scheduled to take effect for tax rates and programs such as Medicare and unemployment insurance, it also makes several important changes to sequestration that affect the Department of Defense (DoD). Specifically, it delays sequestration by two months, reduces the amount of cuts in proportion to the delay, and alters the way the budget caps are applied in Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This backgrounder details how the new law alters sequestration and what it means for defense.
For the first time since the sequestration process was triggered in late 2011, Todd Harrison offers a comprehensive account-by-account and outlays analysis of its potential impact on the DoD budget.
As the Obama administration executes its strategic “pivot” to the Western Pacific in the face of China’s military buildup, it is rediscovering the importance of a long-standing ally in the region.
DoD preview of the budget left few surprises for the actual budget release. What is more interesting in this budget request are the major changes that were not made—the dogs that didn’t bark
Defense strategy is about choices. In peacetime, strategy is often expressed in the budget as choices among different types of weapon systems and force structure. Bernard Brodie, writing in a 1959 RAND report, noted, “We do not have and probably never will have enough money to buy all the things we could effectively use for our defense. The choices we have to make would be difficult and painful even if our military budget were twice what it is today.” He went on to write, “In