By Gordon Adams at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
The new Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and the fiscal year 2011 defense budget request have arrived. Unfortunately, they miss the mark: The QDR vastly expands the military’s missions, and the budget responds in kind by expanding for the fourteenth consecutive year.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued that the two documents were “shaped by a bracing dose of realism” with regard to risk and resources. I respectfully disagree. The QDR’s risk assessment piles on missions like a short-order cook stacks pancakes at IHOP, setting no priorities between near-term challenges and long-term requirements. And the budget continues to accommodate such a limitless agenda. The bottom line: This lack of discipline will broaden the country’s defense requirements and expand military spending in ways that will make establishing budget and mission discipline in the future even more difficult.
The lack of budget discipline deconstructed.