SURPRISE: DOD proposed budget is UP slightly over last year's Pentagon budget submission

WASHINGTON, 10 April 2013. In a surprise development after nearly half a year of grim projects, fiscal cliffs, and sequestration, the proposed fiscal year 2014 U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) came out today, and the budget actually is up $1.2 billion over last year's budget submission.

For fiscal 2014, which begins next 1 Oct., the Pentagon's 2014 DOD budget is proposing $526.6 billion in discretionary budget authority, which is up from last year's request of $525.4 billion. Now the DOD's budget goes to Congress for consideration.

The Pentagon's budget would repeal the Draconian across-the-board sequester-related reductions required by the Budget Control Act of 2011, and includes balanced deficit reduction proposals that are more than sufficient to allow Congress to repeal sequestration, Pentagon officials say.

The Pentagon's discretionary budget authority includes spending categories of primary interest to the aerospace and defense electronics industry, such as procurement, research and development, and operations and maintenance.

The Pentagon's discretionary budget does not include spending proposals for overseas contingency operations -- Pentagon-speak for the global war on terror -- which last year was proposed at $88.5 billion. The DOD budget request released today does not yet include a detailed budget for overseas contingency operations. That budget request will come in the next several weeks, Pentagon officials say.

The 2014 Pentagon budget proposal continues plans to reduce the size of military forces according to the DOD's new strategy called Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense.

The budget also would rebalance the Asia-Pacific region and increase funding for critical capabilities such as cyber, special operations, and global mobility, says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Unfortunately the 2014 budget will be significantly and adversely affected by sequester budget cuts this year, Pentagon officials say. Training cutbacks, civilian furloughs, deferral of equipment and facility maintenance, reductions to energy-conservations investments, contract inefficiencies, and curtailed deployments inevitably will have rippling effects into next year, according to a Pentagon statement.

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