The President's FY 2014 defense budget request released today is a "placebo, a placeholder with no effect," according to Travis Sharp, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Mr. Sharp notes in his commentary, Placebo: The 2014 Defense Budget and DOD's Credibility Challenges, that defense spending levels will likely have to be reduced beyond the President's budget because they exceed the caps imposed by sequestration. Beyond the much-debated operational consequences, the author argues that the strategic damage to U.S. credibility of such significant cuts to defense spending is potentially much more serious. "The United States is at risk of over-promising and under-delivering on its global security ambitions," he says.
Mr. Sharp urges the Pentagon to close the gap between the nation's security goals and the resources available to achieve them by reforming business practices related to base support and facilities maintenance, depots and commercial and retail activities. He also suggests "increasing jointness among the services by delineating clearer roles and missions in cyberspace."