Funding Stability: A Proven Cure for Pentagon Disorders

When defense spending is cut, even well managed programs can find themselves short of funds, often resulting in reductions to planned buys, lengthened acquisition timelines and, ironically, higher overall costs. Congress’s habit in recent years of failing to pass defense budgets in a timely manner has further exacerbated the problem by forcing the Department of Defense to take money from some programs, often very successful ones, in order to pay higher priority bills. The next Administration needs to break with the historic, dysfunctional “binge and purge” cycle in defense spending. In light of all the other financial crises that are sure to confront the new president, he would be wise to take the issue of future defense budgets off the table by establishing a stable basis for funding.

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