Belt Tightening Not Over

Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told Politico in an interview that the program turmoil the service encountered in 2009 is not the end; he expects “continuing resource constraints and program challenges.” Defense analysts testifying Thursday before the House Armed Services Committee said much the same thing. While a drop in the defense budget may not come in 2011—the first real Obama Administration defense budget to be presented in February 2010—they all agreed it would come soon. There were mixed feelings as to whether that’s good or bad. Understanding the likely budget constraints on 2011 and the Future Years Defense Program, said committee chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) is “critical” to Congressional fiscal stewardship and its review of the accompanying Quadrennial Defense Review. Ranking member Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said many lawmakers believe the defense budget “is not headed in the right direction.” Continue