With the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, increasing the number of U.S. ground forces and large-scale internal programs Obama administration will be difficult to achieve the adoption of the military budget.
Obama Administration recently again hit the headlines when lifted some costly program of the Pentagon, such as long-term program to create complex weapons and equipment the U.S. Army Future Combat Systems and the development of the F-22 fighter for the Air Force. But those who hoped to reduce the U.S. military budget, will be disappointed if you look at Obama's budget request for 2010 fiscal year. There he continues the line of his predecessor, requiring a substantial increase in defense spending.
This may seem surprising, given that the president made on the domestic front, making health insurance program, worth a trillion dollars. But the Obama administration is going in real terms to spend more on defense than at any period of four years of American history after the Second World War.
This increase in spending (3.4 per cent compared with last year - to 668 billion dollars) due to two major and interrelated factors, both of whom were born yet when George Bush, and Obama is their only approved and accelerated.
The first factor - that the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. The budget for 2010 in this theater of operations required to spend 65 billion dollars. Afghan costs for the first time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 exceeded the Iraqi (61 billion dollars). Obama has clearly stated that the Afghan war is his war, and he intends by the end of this year, double the number of persons where the American troops.
The second factor - it increases the number of U.S. ground forces. The number of Army and Marine Corps increased by 92,000 troops, which will cost 14 billion dollars a year. This increase was initiated in 2007 under Bush, when the U.S. military switched their attention to the troops on counterinsurgency operations and other non-standard properties.
Actions of this kind require a large number of personnel to slowly comb the densely populated urban areas, as well as special forces to destroy pockets of resistance in remote locations. Ramsfeldovskaya concept of a small, highly mobile and equipped with the latest technology army banish.
According to the expert from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis) Todd Harrison (Todd Harrison), who wrote an analytical report on the application for the military budget in 2010, an increase in troop strength would have implications for the entire defense budget of the United States.
All recruited soldiers need weapons, housing, ranges and shooting range, as well as the allowance, medical care, pensions and other benefits. "The increase in the number of troops will have a lasting impact on the budget", - said Harrison ISN Security Watch.
More development costs, less procurement
Military health care is one article that the budget to be significantly increased. According to the budget request of Obama in 2010, expenses under this heading should be 47 billion dollars, and according to Harrison, every 10 years they will have doubled. The health system covers the U.S. armed services for its more than nine million soldiers on active military service, as well as their families and retired military.
"If you allow this, the costs of personnel will begin to crowd out other budget items, such as procurement and research and development", - says Harrison.
Increased expenditure on personnel has led to a significant load on the rest of the U.S. military budget. Costs of research and development budget request to Obama in 2010 decreased by 2,1 percent, but still they are close to last year's record. The volume of purchases increased by 6.7 per cent, and yet, it is significantly below historic highs of 1985. According to Harrison, 70 th and 80 th years, the ratio of procurement and research and development was 3 to 1, and today the difference is only 1.4 per cent.
"This means that the United States spends more money on developing advanced weapons systems, but their purchase money does not remain," - he says.
According to Harrison, in the coming years in research and development there will be changes, and the bulk of the effort will shift from basic and applied research in the direction already ongoing and rapid development. Harrison predicts that the new programs will be less, and the money allocated to research, will be redirected to the already existing programs.
It will also have an impact on those weapons systems that the United States will be able to acquire in the coming years.
"In recent years, requests are often based on such techniques, which were inaccessible by the standards of existing technologies - said Harrison, who - now the Pentagon is in the long term switch from some exceptional for its novelty decisions on less ambitious and less expensive program."
Regarding strategy, it is quite possible that in the doctrine and concepts of the U.S. military decades away position on the simultaneous conduct of the wars in the two theaters of war.
"We may see a provision stating that the United States must be prepared for a major war and one regional conflict", - said Harrison. According to him, is now preparing "four-year military review, which will set out the expected changes in the military-strategic doctrine and concepts.
And the future needs taken into account?
The more important question that arises in connection with the budget request, is considered at all in future budget needs. The application sets out the forecast for expenditure on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming years. It provides a significant reduction in funding these wars - from $ 130 billion in 2010 fiscal year to just $ 50 billion in each subsequent year. The application is also provided to keep in perspective changes the total amount of the military budget, beginning in 2011.
Conclusion combat troops from Iraq will give a savings in the military budget. But as in Afghanistan in 2010 provided $ 65 billion, and the conflict in that country only intensifies, the projected in 2011 and then figure the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan within the $ 50 billion is unlikely to seem credible.
"The figure of 50 billion dollars does not seem plausible to me, - said Harrison, who - this year the number of American troops in Afghanistan will grow by two times. According to expert estimates, Afghanistan in 10 years will cost us 580 billion dollars. There is no doubt that administration will come back and ask for additional money. "
As a higher level - the total U.S. budget, the budget committee of the Congress for the next 10 years, it predicts a deficit of $ 4.7 trillion. During this same period, spending on personnel will increase by half. Obama administration will have to create some sort of miracle to sustain the burden of military spending, especially in circumstances where it simultaneously promotes the ambitious plans for domestic policy.
"If military forces remain at current levels, it will still exist long-term costs for the next 10, 20 and 30 years - said Harrison - and because the Pentagon has decided to increase the number of troops, the big question - where will set the money."
Living in Washington, a freelance journalist Peter Baksbaum for 15 years wrote on defense, security, business and technology. His articles were published such publications as Fortune, Forbes, Chief Executive, Information Week, Defense Technology International, Homeland Security and Computerworld.
Peter Baksbaum, "ISN", Switzerland
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