On Jan. 26, the Pentagon released further information (.pdf) about how the new Defense Strategic Guidance will be reflected in the Defense Department’s future spending priorities. The changes, designed to meet the White House’s mandate to cut $37 billion from its previously planned Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 defense budget, generally conform with the new directions contained in the strategic guidance document, but they leave several key questions unanswered.
The department’s topline request for FY 2013 is $525 billion, down from an original $531 billion. The rest of the savings comes in the form of reducing supplemental funding for overseas contingency operations, mostly in Afghanistan, to $88.4 billion from the originally proposed $115 billion. The request aims to begin the process of reducing the defense budget by $259 billion over the next five years and $487 billion over the next decade.
The Defense Department will release more-detailed budget information when President Barack Obama formally submits his proposed FY 2013 budget to Congress, which is scheduled to occur on Feb. 14. Hopefully the formal budget request will provide concrete answer to several key questions.