An Unclear Budget Leaves The Pentagon In Unfamiliar Territory

Photo by David B. Gleason

With the Department of Defense facing the possibility of operating under emergency measures for the next year, something that it has never been asked to do, the Army faces tough budget choices. A continuing resolution would put funding on autopilot for a full year, reports The Hill.

Under a yearlong continuing resolution, the military would have $25 billion less than requested, though this would still be $10 billion more than the sequestration cuts, which required the Pentagon to reduce its budget by $500 billion over a decade. The budget cuts were partially relieved in 2014 and 2015, but are slated to start again in 2016.

"It's a real possibility this year because we've got a budget stalemate in Congress and between Congress and the administration, and both camps are pretty firmly dug into their trenches," said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

This resolution would leave the Army short $6.6 billion of its requested 2016 budget and could adversely impact combat readiness by reducing funding to equipment and vehicle maintenance. The Army would be unable to fund 35 new programs, including 19 research and development programs, and 16 procurement programs. Among the procurement programs to take a hit would be the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, a program awarded to Oshkosh in August, which would face a reduction from 450 to 184.

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