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Ex-Obama aide’s think tank hits defense budget
Question of the Day
It also calls for reducing the Navy’s active carrier fleet from the Panetta-endorsed 11, to 10, as the cost of operating flat-tops and buying new ones continues to escalate.
The center’s report also calls for delaying until 2021 procurement of one of the Army’s most cherished procurement prizes [-] the $40 billion Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) to replace the M2/M3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
“The Bradley remains the pre-eminent infantry fighting vehicle in the world with no looming challenger, while the current requirements for the GCV are both unnecessary and expensive,” the report says.
Other outside experts have called on the Pentagon to put off the Ground Combat Vehicle.
The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment, a centrist group that advises Congress, called for delaying the vehicle while soldiers wear out current equipment. The Army could use the time to develop better protective systems against improvements in enemy armor-piercing weapons.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, told The Washington Times in April that now is not the time to fund the GCV.
“Given the financial situation the country is in right now, my personal opinion is that modernization should wait, and we should spend the money on personnel cost and readiness, and not on modernization,” he said.
Both the House and Senate Armed Services committees this month approved full funding for GCV development in their versions of the 2013 budget bill.
Quadrennial defense review
The law calls for more than $500 billion in additional automatic defense cuts, starting Jan. 1, unless Congress can reach a deal on reducing the deficit. Several experts say those reductions, known as sequestration, will happen because Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on taxes and entitlement reforms.
The Center for New American Security does not endorse the automatic cuts, saying no more than $550 billion should be taken from the military budget.
James Carafano, a military analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said Ms. Flournoy two years ago presented a strategy known as the quadrennial defense review that called for far more forces than the new defense budget or her think tank advocates today.
“This proposal follows very similar logic to other reports that we’ve seen from progressive think tanks,” Mr. Carafano said. “What no one has been able to square the circle and explain is, how we had a [review] that nobody had a problem with and it calls for substantially more forces than these guys call for.”
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