Rapid Fire March 5, 2013: New US House Bill for FY13 Appropriations
- Chairman of the US House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers [R-KY] introduced a bill yesterday that mixes appropriations for the departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs with an extended Continuing Resolution for other federal agencies through the end of FY13. This will come to the House floor this week, will pass there, but what the Senate will want to do with it is uncertain. HR 933 | CBO estimate [both PDFs] | Bloomberg | WaPo.
- Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s acquisition undersecretary, in a letter to the industry [PDF]:
“[D]amage to the Department and to industry is unfortunately unavoidable at this point. [...] Funding reductions will affect the full range of the Department’s planned contracts [...] our flexibility in how we absorb these required reductions is very limited [...]“
- The US Marines selected several acquisition offers at various program management roles including new PMs for Anti-Armor Systems (AAS), Digital Fires Situational Awareness (DFSA), Infantry Combat Equipment (ICE), and Reconnaissance and Amphibious Raids (RAR).
- China plans to increase its (official) 2013 defense budget by 10.7% to 720 billion yuans (about $114B), close to last year’s growth rate in their (acknowledged) military spending. It is a nominal rather than net rate, but Chinese inflation markedly slowed down last year. Xinhua | Japan Times | WSJ.
- Given India’s high public sector deficit, substantial inflation, and exchange rate depreciation in past years, their 2013-14 budget will be hard-pressed to keep up.
- The UK plans to return most of its Army troops stationed in Germany by the end of 2015, and all of them by 2019, a much more decisive plan than the United States’ timid rebasing. MoD Regular Army Basing Plan [PDF] | The Guardian. France withdrew most of its post-WWII troops in Germany last decade.
- French congressman Philippe Meunier (center-right UMP, a party in minority since last year) was tasked with reporting to the Assemblée Nationale’s armed services committee about France’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He laments [in French] the government’s tardiness in negotiating transit rights through either Pakistan or Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The result is tens of millions of euros in extra spending. 80% of shipments have been flown to the UAE then boarded on ships to France, for a total average cost per “shippable unit” (e.g. a vehicle) of about 30,000 euros. Direct flights from Kabul on Antonov 124s [in French] reached 40K euros/unit (around $52K), or 10 times what driving through Pakistan would have costed. Meunier expects PAKGLOC and other exit roads to soon turn into a traffic nightmare as other NATO members start leaving, which at least the French won’t have to endure.