Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
"The Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget promises to continue the historically high level of defense spending initiated by the George W. Bush administration after September 11th. Our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and here at home deserve every dollar needed to keep them safe and well prepared to meet our country’s security challenges. But more can and should be done to rein in spending on the investment portion of the defense budget, which includes a number of outdated, over budget weapons systems. Subjecting the base defense budget to more scrutiny would not constrain our efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan because both wars are funded through emergency supplemental appropriations outside of the normal budget process and through the operations and support portion of the baseline budget.
If President Obama is serious about controlling spending, his recently announced three-year freeze on discretionary spending should also apply to the investment portion of the regular defense budget, including such programs as national missile defense, large nuclear forces, the expeditionary fighting vehicle, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. These changes can be made to the baseline defense budget without undermining national security or hurting the troops."
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