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Inside the Ring
Question of the Day
The budget will increase year to year between fiscal 2013 and 2017, but actual funding will decline yearly by 0.3 percent. Also, the cuts are front-loaded so that more than half will be made in the next five years, totaling $259.4 billion of the $487 billion mandated by the Budget Control Act.
A third of the cuts over five years will come from slashing $76 billion from weapons modernization programs, 24 percent will be taken from an anticipated $61 billion in what the Pentagon calls bureaucratic “efficiencies” and $53 billion is expected from cutting force structure.
Force cuts include eliminating at least eight Army brigade combat teams, six Marine Corps combat battalions and four tactical air squadrons, seven Air Force tactical air squadrons and mobility aircraft, and seven Navy cruisers and two amphibious ships.
About 12 percent of the cuts, or $30 billion, will be taken out of military compensation, and another $12.5 billion will come from reducing troop strength by 125,000 people.
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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