by Laicie Heeley
On November 15, 2011, the Senate Armed Services Committee revised the fiscal year (FY) 2012 defense authorization bill to include $21 billion in additional cuts, as mandated by the Budget Control Act.
The bill would continue to shift funding from the base budget to the war funding account, a controversial move also seen in the most recent appropriations bill. The committee would reduce war funding by $5.0 billion, due to planned troop reductions, and reduce funding for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) by $1.6 billion. The bill would then transfer $4.9 billion from operation and maintenance funding to the war account for activities closely associated with military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including such things as MRAP vehicle sustainment, body armor, overseas security guards, depot maintenance, and CENTCOM headquarters public affairs. It would also transfer $600 million from the base request for the Army and $ 87.2 million from the base request for the Air Force.
In addition to shuffling funds, the Committee came to some agreement over concerns raised by the White House regarding new detainee provisions. Changes made to the bill would clarify that the President has the authority to determine who decides whether a suspected terrorist is affiliated with al Qaeda, and thus whether the provision applies. Further, civilian law enforcement officials would not be required to abandon surveillance and interrogations of suspected terrorists or transfer them into military custody in order to comply with the provision.
The bill would contain language stating that the provision does not expand the existing authority to detain under that 2001 law authorizing the war on terrorism. Critics have expressed concern that the bill does not provide an exemption for American citizens and lawful residents. Without further adjustment to the provision, the ACLU has argued that American citizens could be detained indefinitely without trial. However, critics in the Senate, the White House and the public interest community remain opposed the new language.
The Senate is expected to begin debate on the revised measure November 16, but when the bill will be completed remains unknown.
Other programmatic cuts include:
$2.8 billion in Army Procurement and $800 million in RDTE including:
• $518.7 million for the Joint Tactical Radio System
• $224.0 million for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical
• $172.5 million for Ground Soldier System-Nett Warrior
• $157.3 for HMMWV recapitalization programs
$724.5 million in Navy Procurement and $55.9 million in RDTE including:
• $163.5 million for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
• $159.9 million for spares and repair parts
• $69.9 million for AMRAAM
• $99.7 million for the F/A-18E/F Hornet
$910.2 million in Air Force Procurement and $596.0 million in RDTE for programs including:
• $145 million for the A-10
• $120 million for AFNET
• $103 million for initial spares and repair parts
• $101 million for the AMRAAM
Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee
$216 million for science and technology and information technology due to excessive growth and program delays.
$135 million for U.S. Special Operations Command due to unjustified growth and the duplication of funding for some items.
$128 million for counter-drug programs based on a DOD assessment that this funding is excess to need.
$43 million for counter-proliferation programs due to slow execution.
$85 million for the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) based on unjustified growth.
$40 million for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program due to program delays.
$100.6 million for military personnel. The reduction is achieved by “taking an additional $42.6 million in unobligated balances and using updated CBO estimates for savings attributable to a change in the calculation of hostile fire pay.”
$330.0 million for private sector care under the Defense Health Program, based on an assessment of historical under execution rates for private sector care.
$120 million for the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program, due to a program redesign.
$527 million in military construction funding, including five projects in EUCOM valued at $179.6 million.
$3.1 billion in operation and maintenance funding including:
• $315 million for ammunition account cuts.
• $294 million for excess growth in service contractors and civilian employees.
• $258 million in the OCO accounts for a transfer of Coast Guard support to the Department of Homeland Security.
$234.4 million in Navy Procurement and $496.7 million in RDTE including:
• $120 million for JTRS
• $70 million for the Future Unmanned Carrier-Based Strike System
• $63 million for ship contract design and live fire T&E
• $58 million for the Standard Missile
$101.0 million in Marine Corps Procurement due to slow program execution or contract award delays.
$108.6 million in Air Force Procurement for unnecessary post production funding for the C-17.
$45.9 million in Air Force RDTE for programs that had contract delays or were being re-phased.
$233 million for the development of the Family of Advanced Line of Sight Terminals (FAB-T) used in conjunction with the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite system.
$300 million for the long term lease of a commercial satellite by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
$105 million in connection with delays in contract awards associated with GPS systems under development.
$356 million for environmental cleanup at former atomic weapons production sites.
$168 million due to cost overruns for a pit disassembly facility to produce mixed oxide fuel (MOX). The program will develop a new program base line.
$45 million for NNSA program management.
$55 million for the procurement of Standard Missile-3 Block IB missiles, due to a test failure and subsequent delay. An additional $260 million would be moved from procurement to the R&D account to facilitate the fixes.
$120 million for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system due to delays.
The bill also includes a number of unspecified reductions to the Military Intelligence Program, as well as reduced funding for the National Intelligence Program.