Skip to comments.Army's Top Officer Signals Pentagon Budget Revolt
Posted on 09/24/2006 8:42:41 PM PDT by jmc1969
WASHINGTON The U.S. Army's top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.
The decision by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in the absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, current and former Pentagon officials said.
"This is unusual, but hell, we're in unusual times," said a senior Pentagon official involved in the budget discussions.
Schoomaker failed to submit the budget plan by an Aug. 15 deadline. The protest followed a series of cuts in the service's funding requests by both the White House and Congress over the last four months.
According to a senior Army official involved in budget talks, Schoomaker is now seeking $138.8 billion in 2008, or nearly $25 billion above budget limits originally set by Rumsfeld. The Army's budget this year is $98.2 billion, making Schoomaker's request a 41% increase over current levels.
"It's incredibly huge," said the Army official, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity when commenting on internal deliberations. "These are just incredible numbers."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Hey, I am surprised the LA Times beat the NY Times with this story.
Its a race to see if the NYT and LAT can get another story out telling what lousy shape our military is in before they have to lay off so many employees they can't get the paper out the door.
The good news is that our military will be okay. The bad news is the LAT and NYT aren't going bankrupt tomorrow.
Since it's largely a war of ideas we are fighting... why so much money?
Are we overspending like Soviets now?
Courtmartial him for insubordination.
If we ask the army to do a job, we have to fund the effort, or reduce the scope of the job. The army is wearing out equipment at a pace not seen in decades...and this is very expensive equipment.
Better idea - get the President to request and accept Rumsfeld's resignation.
Ric was right.
Schoomaker's a good soldier. If he says he needs the money, he needs the money. I'll trust him before I'll trust Rummy.
Be Seeing You,
To put it bluntly, the stockpiles accumulated by the Reagan administration are finally being run down and the need to be replaced.
I bet that some of the grousing has to do with the fact that Rumsfeld wants that equipment replaced with newer, lighter equipment like the Stryker and light infantry like Special Forces and Airborne, which includes retraining and (especially) re-organizing the Army around brigade-sized units instead of divisions.
My guess is that makes the Army's top brass (nearly synonymous with the divisional commanders of heavy armored units) very unhappy.
So the problem of re-equipping is tightly tied to the issue of deciding what kind of Army we want.
My initial inclination is: do both and cross train. It's expensive, but if you have only light infantry and need the heavies, you're screwed, and then we will also lose the edge in training and the industrial base needed to equip the heavy, mechanized units if we go with all light units.
Talk about leadership! Since Gen Schoomaker was recalled to active duty because all of the active duty four star generals were found deficient in some manner or another, I guess General Pete figures he has nothing to lose.
The very bottom line is that peacetime utilization rates of men and material do not accurately reflect real combat utilization rates.
The military is faced with some very hard choices - pay for current operations or rebuild the force structure. Both options put future plans on hold - perhaps even canceling them entirely. And, it is not just the Army.
We, the nation and its political leadership, have decided to fight the war on terrorism on the cheap - by making it a short lived contingency mission that can be handled by TDY troops. While this is a nice cheap political option it ignored the force structure that we have. There was no peace dividend as the reserve force structure has found out.
Our national leadership, regardless of party, need to stand up and make this a war with a formal declaration of war and everything that goes with it. Any nation, regardless of its size, location on the UN Security Council, must be taught a lesson - if you arent helping us then you are fighting against us and are subject to every bit of MILITARY force that we can muster. The alternatives to the American Way of Life are too terrible to contemplate.
Will this happen? I am not holding my breath.
"My guess is that makes the Army's top brass (nearly synonymous with the divisional commanders of heavy armored units) very unhappy."
I can easily see that. Except, Schoomaker is SF, and has almost been his entire career. But, I think your idea is on the right path.
The Army, like the Navy must have the ability to fight on 3 fronts. With it's funding level not even 3/4 of what it was in 1989 how can we squeeze them anymore. I also realize the Military as a whole is not the cold war monster is used to be, its setup to be more lethal, streamlined blah blah..But this budget is BS they aren't NASA and shouldn't be expected to send spitballs into orbit.
I believe the President and his appointed Defense Secretary.
Troops, including all the called up Reservists, have to be paid. Fuel costs money, contractors to feed the troops and provide other support costs money. Ammunition costs money.
The Army is badly underfunded, and if anything the other services, are in worse shape. It shows more with the Army, because they are the most committed right now. Air Force can just slash bases and units, as can the Navy, since neither are much on the point of the spear, again, right now.
The Air Force is planning to cut 40,000 slots, while the Army can't pay its stateside utility bills. Nor can they pay the little Korean ladies to clean the latrines more than once a week. (It gets pretty deep in there by the end of that week, let me tell you. No towels, sometimes no TP (in part because that's been used to dry hands).
IOW, kill the messenger?
I'm with you. But what can you expect. The "Battleship" generals only know one way to make war. Too bad we can't retire everyone of them over 50.
Schoomaker comes from Special Forces. He did start out in infantry and Armored Cav, but switch to SF in '78, 9 years into his Army career His previous two assignments were Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command from July 1994 to August 1996, followed by command of the United States Army Special Operations Command.
So if he's PO'd, it's not just the Heavy Division CO's that are put off.
Billions for defense, not one cent for Planned Parenthood, Legal Services, and all the other Nanny-State parasites. Put Congress on a per diem and watch the avoid town to get real jobs.
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