By: Jacques Gansler, William Lucyshyn, Christopher Vorhis
Based on projected federal budget deficits, the Department of Defense can expect continued downward budgetary pressure for the foreseeable future. Necessary spending, such as replacing aging defense systems and providing health care for veterans and their families, makes the DoD’s long-term acquisition plans unsustainable. If current spending patterns continue, then cost control, not to mention net budget cuts, will be one of the most difficult challenges facing defense policymakers. Under intense pressure to cut the defense budget following the end of major hostilities in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has acknowledged that the era of unchallenged defense spending is over (Shanker, 2010). As large numbers of U.S. forces remain engaged in winning the peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is essential that the DoD work to reduce inefficiencies and set priorities, as it faces an inevitable drawdown.