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Narrow sighted Defense budget ill equipped for Islamic State

Adjusting the defense budget to combat the Islamic State
Adjusting the defense budget to combat the Islamic State
Alex Wong / Getty Images

More from loose lips at the Department of Defense is that planners were so narrow sighted and uninformed that they missed accounting for the Islamic State as an emerging terrorist threat. The department intelligence was so deficient that they didn’t see the possibility coming. What we have here is a failure to anticipate.

That deficiency means that Secretary Hagel must go back to Congress to request more money to combat the Islamic State. Congress, which is on vacation, will have a much larger problem accounting for how it is going to finance a robust fight. Hopefully Congress and the President will produce a comprehensive foreign policy and strategy.

The Washington Post uses the word “retool” to describe the required action. That could mean just moving some items around, but don’t bet on that. The Islamic State is a big miss in the planning.

Probably the DOD will start talking agility and flexibility. That’s what is needed to keep pace with the immediate threat. To get well ahead, the Defense department, executive branch, and Congress need to improve anticipating, forecasting, and predicting, and planning as never before. The leadership are revealing a lack of essential skill, knowledge, and experience that is required to manage problems and requirements of unprecedented scope and scale.

The Defense department supports the State department as 43% of the Defense budget is driven by State department requirements. It isn’t possible for the Defense department to perform the prediction, planning, and analytical tasks without collaboration that includes Congress as a partner in the process.

The American political system and government must be made functional to effectively address threats to national security that include military and economic components.

What can American voters do to effect a more functional government?

  • Improve the recruitment, selection and election of qualified representatives at every level of government
  • Engage government and leadership with active oversight, including protest when necessary
  • Vote in elections for superior candidates independent from party affiliation
  • Vote for candidates that are more allegiant to the nation that to their political careers

America doesn’t need career politicians, it needs competent leaders, managers, and representatives who are the most knowledge about subjects that are essential for producing a sustainable economy.

“Hagel: Iraq Crisis May Require DoD To Rethink 2015 Budget
Aug. 21, 2014 - 03:45AM


US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey hold a press briefing at the Pentagon on Aug. 21. (Saul Loeb / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon might have to retool its $555 billion 2015 budget proposal to account for the threats posed by and actions taken against the Islamic State, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

“[Y]ou’re constantly shaping a budget to assure that resources match the mission and the mission and the resources match the threat,” Hagel said during a briefing at the Pentagon.

“[Y]ou’re shifting [money] all the time on what you think is going to be required,” Hagel said. “We’ve had to move assets over the last couple of accomplish what we accomplished in Iraq. That costs money, that takes certain monies out of certain funds. So it’s a constant, fluid process as you plan for these.”

Since Aug. 8, US forces have conducted 89 airstrikes against Islamic State militants, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the briefing.

Dempsey said US forces have delivered 636 bundles of food, water and medical supplies to Iraqis. As well, manned and unmanned military aircraft are flying more than 60 intelligence missions each day.

“I think we’re fine for fiscal year ’14 and we’ll have to continue to gather the data and see what it does in ’15,” Dempsey said.

In March, the Defense Department asked Congress for $496 billion for 2015. Called the “base budget,” it covers normal operations, acquisition, personnel costs, etc. In late June, the Pentagon asked lawmakers for an additional $58.6 billion to cover overseas contingency operations (OCO).”

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