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“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

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A Ways to Go

Defense spending ebbs and flows in the U.S. and, once it’s on a trend, it tends to stay there for about a decadeBut the Pentagon’s budget proposal doesn’t reflect this. In a recent event at the Roosevelt Institute, BFAD’s Gordon Adams provided some context for that plan:

The defense budget that Panetta has proposed over the next ten years is a flat budget, basically keeps up with inflation, but no more. Not bad from defense terms but nothing like the historic build-downs that we’ve had.

Revisiting a point he made two months ago, when he called the Secretary’s budget forecast “unrealistically high,” Gordon went on to predict that:

We’ll see something like 20 to 25 [percent] – at least – reduction in constant dollars in the defense budget.

Decisions of that magnitude are still a ways off, of course.  As Gordon said in his post last week , right now everyone is looking to November’s election as the next big signal.

Gordon Adams :: Interview from Roosevelt Institute on Vimeo.