May 19, 2014
By John Isaacs
No matter your position on the Pentagonâ€™s choices regarding force structure, weapons and doctrine, one has to give the building some credit for attempting to face up to the current tough budgetary environment.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan finally ending, a wartime budget is no longer needed and the Pentagon can no longer afford excess personnel and forces, so Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presented the fiscal 2015 budget to Congress with a number of recommendations for cost savings this year and in subsequent years.
The tough-minded fiscal conservatives on the House Armed Services Committee said, â€œThanks, but no thanks.â€�
The ranking Democrat, Adam Smith of Washington, accused Republicans of worsening the Pentagon budget crisis by insisting it buy weapons it has not requested.
In a recent article, Chairman Howard â€œBuckâ€� McKeon agreed that the committee is requiring the Pentagon to keep a larger force than it can afford and the Pentagon and Congress will have to solve that problem next year â€” meaning after the California Republican has retired.
The French King Louis XV uttered the warning, â€œAprÃ¨s moi, le deluge.â€� It was true; the next king lost his head.
But McKeon wonâ€™t even lose his pension.
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