The Pentagon faces a 50 percent chance of budget cuts in the year ahead, the Pentagonâs No. 2 uniformed officer said, with money freed up from department efficiencies likely to “migrate” throughout the government.
Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking at a defense investment conference last week, said the Pentagon has little better than â50-50 oddsâ of avoiding defense budget cuts as Congress takes on deficit reduction in the coming year, according to a Reuters report.
As for the money freed up by Gatesâ efficiencies? Cartwright said he has âzero faithâ that DoD will be able to keep it within the department.
âSome of that will migrate out,â he said. âI donât think it will be in the large portions. It will be manageable, at least this year. As you go forward and you try to set that $100 billion aside, itâs probably going to continue to leak at a greater rate as the pressure comes on the budget. Itâs just logical.”
Defense-watcher Colin Clark at DoDBuzz said increasing pressure for Pentagon cuts (ratcheted up by recommendations from the bipartisan deficit commission) has left Gatesâ efficiencies plan âin tatters.â
If DoD doesnât mount a new strategy that takes likely budget cuts into account, the Office of Management and Budget could mandate new topline budget numbers for DoD as early as next week, according to DoDBuzz.