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Bob Work: DoD’s Fiscal 2016 Budget to Balance Personnel, Readiness, Modernization Needs

Bob Work
Bob Work

Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work says that the Defense Department‘s fiscal 2016 budget proposal will enable the department to pick up long-term modernization programs following delays brought about by the recent sequestration, DoD News reported Tuesday.

Claudette Roulo writes that Work has indicated the requested budget of $585 billion is based on current operational needs and is up from the approved budget for fiscal 2015.

Work said in his keynote speech at the U.S. Naval Institute’s 2015 WEST Conference that the proposal is “strategy-driven” and “resource-informed” following months of deliberation on the continued viability of the strategies in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review.

“[We] recognize that the assumptions that underpin each of these… priorities would have to continually be reviewed, especially with regard to what has happened in Europe and the Middle East,” he said.

Work pointed to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Islamic State group’s terrorist activities and the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa as recent global security “surprises,” while Iran’s nuclear program, the force transition in Afghanistan, China’s territorial activities and large-scale cyber attacks continue to require U.S. defense resources.

Roulo reports that DoD’s review of defense priorities also indicated the need to balance the budget across force structure, readiness and modernization activities, as well as to balance between time and money.

“[We] just cannot be ready for one thing. We can’t be a counter insurgency force, we can’t be a high-end multiphase campaign force, we have to be able to do all those things, and it takes time,” Work said in his speech.

Other focus areas of the budget include efforts to make programs more efficient, restore the U.S. military’s technological advantage and foster defense innovation.

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