The Obama administration’s $671 billion defense budget for fiscal 2012, which is $37 billion less than the current year’s request, may set up a fight in Congress with senior lawmakers opposed to such a reduction.
The request includes $553 billion in core Department of Defense spending, including weapons procurement, and $117.8 billion in military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the federal budget documents released yesterday.
Less than 2 percent to 3 percent growth in defense may lead to “dire consequences” for weapons and troops, said U.S. Representative Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in a statement yesterday. “I have significant concerns,” he said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s proposal to cancel General Dynamics Corp.’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and plans to reduce the Army and Marine strength were “budgetary shell games” not backed by strategy to counter threats from countries like China, defense analysts at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington said in a report yesterday.