Image Credit: Jack Ohman
The Department of Defense's fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget is among the most complex budget proposals submitted within recent years. The Pentagon's base FY 2015 budget of $495.6 billion dollars is supplemented with the $79 billion dollar oversea's contingency operations (OCO) budget and possibly an additional $26 billion from the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI). Despite the steady progress of troop reductions in Afghanistan, the OCO budget remains largely unaltered from the FY 2014 budget. The DOD is essentially using the OCO budget as a means to mitigate some of the effects of sequestration. The funding from OGSI is unlikely to materialize as support from Congress is minimal.
To sum the "theme" of the YF2015 budget in a single sentence, the DOD is making significant cuts to its short term capabilities in order to preserve and develop future programs. Its easy to criticize the YF 2015 budget given the significant cuts to legacy platforms such as the U-2, A-10, KC-10, temporarily mothballing 11 missile cruisers, substantial troop reductions, and possibly retiring the USS George Washington. Without tangible action from Congress to either end sequestration or to grant the DOD greater discretion to with regards to implementing the mandated cuts, the FY 2015 budget proposal is approximately the best one could expect from the DOD given the circumstances. Many defense analysts have claimed that the Pivot is no longer viable given the cuts in the YF 2015 budget. In reality, the process of re-balancing the Pacific is likely to require several decades of active US engagement. The new R&D investments in DARPA, cyber warfare, adaptive engine technology, UCLASS, AMDR, and the long-range strike bomber prepare the US for a Pacific oriented defense posture. As a result of prioritization of R&D, the post 2020 US military will be able to counter a wide range of expected national security threats for decades to come.
Recommended Budget Related Articles:
In R&D Budget, Pentagon Focuses on Risk - by Zachary Fryer-Biggs
US Navy Budget Plan: Major Questions Abound - by Christopher Cavas
US Budget Request Focuses on Leaner, High-Tech Future - by Marcus Weisgerber and Zachary Fryer-Biggs
Carriers, Cruisers, & LCS: CNO Speaks - by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr
Pentagon proposes buying fewer fighters, unmanned aircraft in FY2015 budget - by Jon Hemmerdinger
Pentagon seeks to invest billions in next-generation programmes - by Jon Hemmerdinger
US Navy Budget Takes Bite Out of Aircraft, Weapons - by Christopher Cavas
The third J-20 prototype designated "2011" has been making major headlines in aerospace publications for the last two weeks. I am in the process of writing a new article detailing the features of the 2011 aircraft in addition to updated background information. The article, threat analysis of foreign stealth fighters part I: Chengdu J-20, needs comprehensive revisions to keep the article relevant. Thus, it is more feasible to write an entirely new article.