Rapid Fire July 12, 2012: Thicker Deficits, Thinner Reports
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest report [PDF] on long-term defense budgets (known as FYDP for short). Whether CBO wonks use their own projections or extend the FYDP beyond its 5-year span, they find that the Pentagon will exceed the Budget Control Act (known as sequestration for dramatic effect) ceilings. Which is working as intended because DoD said from the get-go their FY13-17 numbers would not take sequestration into account. Regardless, here’s the part where DoD should take heed:
“Historically, the costs of providing health care, paying military and civilian personnel, and developing and buying weapons have been higher than DoD’s planning estimates.”
Adding to the endless DoD-Congress telenovela, The Pentagon has apparently set a new policy to limit reports to Congress to 15 pages. HASC Chairman Buck McKeon [R-CA] is justifiably miffed. Leon, you’re hollowing me out!
Another recent DoD report, this one on Iran’s military, highlights that country’s improvement of its ballistic missile capabilities.
One thing that is likely to have to get thinner to address the Pentagon’s fiscal constraints is the size of its civilian workforce.
Cost containment is partly among the motivations behind DoD’s cloud computing strategy [PDF], but security will remain a concern. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is in charge. With uncanny timing the GAO reported on federal initiatives driven by OMB’s “cloud first” mandate. Though the study doesn’t encompass DoD, many of the underlying issues are the same.
The Heritage Foundation thinks the continued presence of US bases in Europe is vital [PDF].
Lockheed Martin announced earlier this week they reduced the workforce of their Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) division by 740 people, first with voluntary departures then by firing 308 people.