Search

 

Disclaimer 

In October 2012 our shortened URL (www.thewillandthewallet.org) expired and was purchased by spammers before we were able to reclaim it. Part of their misuse includes redirecting this URL to an imposter site that has advertisements posted in the comment boxes. Stimson is working to take down that site and reclaim the domain name. In the interim, please update your bookmarks accordingly to www.thewillandthewallet.squarespace.com. Thank you all for your patience as we work through this issue.

Picture This

(Gallup)

Wordwise

“Modest reforms to pay and compensation will improve readiness and modernization. It will help keep our all-volunteer force sustainable and strong. Keeping faith also means investing sufficient resources so that we can uphold our sacred obligations to defend the nation and to send our sons and daughters to war with only the best training, leadership and equipment. We can’t shrink from our obligations to one another. The stakes are too high.”

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey

« Dov Zakheim is right… | Main | This is not the end »
Tuesday
Nov152011

Goldwatching

Everyone is spun up that Secretary Panetta has released a letter describing the effects of sequester on DoD.  In his description of FY13, he's not all that wrong: it would be a big cliff of a cut distributed across-the-board without regard for strategic choices.

However, for the FY14-21 window the cuts don't just sound scary, they sound too scary.  Of 10 weapon systems outlined for termination or delay, eight are on one of the three military departments's priority lists: 

That leaves European Missile Defense and ICBMs, which have unique Congressional equities.  

This budget tactic is called goldwatching, or the Washington Monument Ploy: if someone threatens your budget, say you're going to cut what nobody wants you to cut and ignore the things that maybe should be cut.   

As we've pointed out before, the sequester mechanism is a terrible device, but the savings levels aren't that different from past builddowns and we would be better off managing that builddown strategically rather than hiding our head in the sand and considering unrealistic options.