Rapid Fire 2012-01-06 | Defense Strategic Guidance: Wait Till February
- In line with pre-announcements made by his administration in past months, President Obama said yesterday he was directing the Pentagon to lower ground troop levels in favor of increasing special forces, cybersecurity and UAVs, alongside a shift in resources from Europe into Asia (video at the bottom of this entry). Even the New York Times notes that calls for a leaner, more technical military that stays away from messy, protracted land wars is not new, but reality may object. DoD released Defense Strategic Guidance [PDF] and had a follow-up roundtable with Carter and Flournoy. The backdrop is clearly the coming presidential election.
- Specifics on program impact will have to wait until the president submits his FY13 budget next month. On the DoD topline budget, Obama said: “[S]ince 9/11, our defense budget grew at an extraordinary pace. Over the next 10 years, the growth in the defense budget will slow, but the fact of the matter is this: It will still grow […] In fact, the defense budget will still be larger than it was toward the end of the Bush administration.” If sequestration is fully enacted, this may still turn out to be true, but probably only in nominal terms (of course future inflation rates, and actual budgets, remain a conjecture).