The requirement was to save $487 billion over the next decade or $259 billion over the next five years. The Defense Department released their Budget Priorites yesterday and a slew of comments, opinions, and reevaluation requests immediately arose.
This reaction is normal. It is the human response ultimately to change. We feel threatened by that which we do not know; in this case it is the future. What will my job be tomorrow if I was working on the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Block 30 Program? This is a significant issue both due to the job market and financial crisis the United States has been experiencing. The Defense Industrial Base is extremely important but it should also understand that the DoD cannot build everything it always desires. One might consider asking was there really a reason for two separate Services (USAF and USN) to have this program? There could have been decent reasons; but now those reasons thus the basis for two programs is gone.
If you look at Death and Taxes you’ll understand that in any democracy there must be balance. You’ll also see that there must be a significant adjustment by the Defense Sector in order to both solve the debt crisis and place dollars in strategic locations. Traditionally we do a bad job of cancelling things that we really don’t need or have let go well beyond their usefulness. Some of the initiatives everyone is responsible for assisting and enforcing to ensure more efficient Defense dollars are:
- More skillful contracting practices to increase competition, reduce costs, and increase buying power
- Better use of information technology
- Better use of business and enterprise systems
- Streamlined staff
- Limitations on official travel
- Better inventory management
- Reductions in contract services
- Deferral of some military construction to align our facilities more closely with the size and posture of our future force
- Reductions in planned civilian pay raises
The Budget Priorities goes on to layout the entire plan for the next 5 and 10 years. The interesting part of a document of this magnitude is that it has enemies both Foreign and Domestic. The goals must be achieved and the country protected.
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