After weeks of negotiations military cuts seem to be on the table as reported in today’s Washington Post. In case anyone in Congress is looking for a quick $77 billion in savings, we thought it would be good to list the proposed reductions to the 2012 fiscal year’s military budget in the Unified Security Budget task force report that IPS released last month:
1. National Missile Defense: Cease further Missile Defense development but retain a basic technology program to determine if NMD is technically feasible, generating $3.6 billion in savings.
2. Virginia Class Submarine: Cancel production of the second SSN-744 Virginia Class submarine in FY2012 and in subsequent years, saving $2.41 billion in 2012 and $11.32 billion through 2016.
3. V-22 Osprey: Cancel the V-22 Osprey program for savings of $2.79 billion in FY2012.
4. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Cut the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program, and reduce procurement for Air Force version by half, saving $5.6 billion.
5. Personnel: Reduce the number of active-duty personnel stationed in Europe and Asia, allowing for savings of $6.5 billion in 2012.
6. Nuclear Forces: Reduce nuclear weapons arsenal to 292 deployed weapons and 19 in reserve and eliminate the Trident II nuclear missile, generating $21 billion in savings.
7. Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation: Reduce RDT&E across the board from $74.3 to $65.3 billion, saving $10 billion.
8. Force Structure: Cut two active component air wings, two carrier battle groups and their associated air wings from the Air Force for an annual savings of $8 billion.
9. Waste and Inefficiencies: Use waste and efficiency savings identified across the department to reduce the budget saving $20 billion.
The USB report showed that the Pentagon is spending billions in weapons that have no match around the world and which are unlikely to be used in combat in any strategic military engagement by the United States.
Will the military budget emerge from the ongoing spending reductions unscathed? Or, will someone take a stand and trim its fat?