Analysts: Rising Terrorism Concerns to Reshape Future U.S. Defense Budget

budget analysis reviewSome analysts forecast that the current threat picture will prompt U.S. lawmakers to address defense spending issues when they return from their August recess, Defense News reported Sunday.

John Bennett writes that President Barack Obama and top Pentagon officials have warned about threats posed by the Islamic State militant group to international security.

“[Y]ou’re constantly shaping a budget to assure that resources match the mission and the mission and the resources match the threat,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters at an Aug. 21 press conference.

Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security, expects Congress to take measures to lessen or halt sequestration cuts to support potential U.S. military actions in Iraq and Syria.

Lawrence Korb, a former official at the Pentagon, said the overseas contingency operations account is one tool for the department to fund airstrike missions against IS targets, according to Defense News.

“The OCO has become the preferred way to deal with these situations,” Korb told the publication.

“Some would call it a slush fund, and they could use if they had no other option,” he added, according to Bennett’s article.

Loren Thompson, chief operating officer at the Lexington Institute, believes a flexible defense budget is needed in order for the military to quickly respond to homeland security threats.

“That might lead to some loosening of fiscal constraints on the Pentagon as long as voters don’t think the additional money will be used to send US troops to trouble spots,” Thompson told Defense News.

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