The Obama Administration's 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget request sent to Congress today illustrate the challenge of matching vision to reality, according to a new CNAS policy brief released today titled Vision Meets Reality: 2010 QDR and 2011 Defense Budget.
Author and CNAS defense analyst Travis Sharp analyzes the FY 2011 defense budget request, places it in the context of the QDR and historical budgetary trends, and outlines the uncertain budgetary future that looms ahead.
Read the full brief online here.
Sharp explains, "Closing the distance between strategic priorities listed in the QDR and realistic plans to implement them will prove a major challenge in 2010 due to persistent structural constraints on reallocating defense spending." These constraints include rising costs for military personnel, operations and maintenance, and weapons systems; continued spending on military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the growth in federal spending on mandatory programs such as Social Security.
Sharp points out that the new FY 2011 budget consolidates gains in Secretary Gates' FY 2010 budget, but cautions that hard tradeoffs are still required to ensure commitments of the past do not impede overcoming the challenges of the future.
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.