Robert Hale: DoD Needs Long-Term Budget Plan to Manage Program Costs

Robert Hale
Robert Hale

Former Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale forecasts that the department will be more cautious with its discretionary spending until there is greater clarity on the defense budget, Defense News reported Monday.

“What we desperately need is a Congress and administration that can agree on a budget and preferably a plan that gives us some sense of where we are heading for several years,” Hale told the publication in a recent interview.

He explained that the Pentagon gives military services a target during the budget process and allows the branches to make spending recommendations under a Common Program Objective system, according to the article.

Defense News reports that Hale does not expect the Pentagon to implement large shift of funds this year, unlike what it did the past two years in order to lessen sequester’s impact on readiness.

He observed that some members of Congress take risks when it comes to defense spending, according to the report.

“Ironically, though, we do not want to make cuts, but we are willing to if Congress is just willing to let us do the things that we feel we have to do,” he added.

“I do think the Congress is contradictory at the moment. They want to cut the money, but they do not want to cut the stuff. And that is a dilemma,”

During the interview, he also mentioned the White House’s plan to include the Counter Terrorism Partnerships Fund and the European Reassurance Initiative to the overseas contingency operations budget.

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