The FY2008 National Security Program
June 21, 2007
The attached briefing puts the President's FY2008 national security budget request in the broader context of the affordability and practicality of the program over the coming Future Year Defense Program period (FY2008-FY2011) and beyond.
It raises serious doubts about the credibility and viability of the program, which are supported by independent analysis by the Congressional Research Service and Congressional Budget Office. In the mid-term, the President's baseline request does not attempt to finance the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and makes untenable assumptions about early cuts in spending for operations and maintenance.
The FYDP does not fund the proposed increase in military strength that Secretary Gates announced early in 2007. The proposed funding for procurement and RDT&E cannot possibly meet future needs for "reset" to deal with equipment wear and losses in combat and the massive wave of high cost new equipment programs each service now plans for in the period after FY2008.
In the longer-term, the projections by CBO raise serious issues about the clash between US ability to fund steadily rising expenditures for mandatory programs like Social Security and Medicaid, and national security. These problems become particularly serious towards the end of the next Administration, and are a "poisoned chalice" the next President and Congress must deal with.
The reader should also note that work by CBO and GAO strongly suggest that the real-world cost of reset and major procurement programs issued by the Department of Defense will be substantially higher than the official budget requests and estimates shown in this briefing, and that the same will be true of future military manpower and wartime costs. Equally important, the budget assumptions Congress directs the CBO to make tend to sharply undercost the future cost of mandatory programs.