Military Spending Essay, Research Paper
Military Spending(Term Paper Phase Two)Introduction:In his State of the Union address, in January of 1999, President Clinton proposed increasing our national defense budget after a decade of decline. Defense contractors who have had to deal with an ever-shrinking defense budget are sure to be receiving some good news in the years to come. A report in the Federal Electronic Commerce Report hints at a possible considerable increase in defense spending. Recently, both Congress and the Senate Budget Committees have approved resolutions that would increase military spending by $8.3 billion above President’s Clinton’s request of $280.5 billion. If the increase is approved it would mean an extra $18 billion over the current year budget of $270 billion. The committees are also calling for an increase in defense spending over the next 5 years. Under the plan, an additional $137 billion more than what had been planned a year would be funneled to the military. The budget would increase in gradual increments to $303.6 billion in 2001; $308.2 billion in 2002; $318.3 billion in 2003; $327 billion in 2004 and $328.4 billion in 2005 to. This is still considerably short of the additional $150 billion requested by the Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier this year. In September of this year, General Henry Shelton Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested that the U.S. military needs tens of billions of dollars in additional funds to reverse its recent decline in readiness, and to replace aging weapons and equipment. General Shelton was testifying before the House Armed Services Committees and the Senate. The Joint Chiefs of Staff stood unified in saying that severe budget cuts in the 1990s “mortgaged the future” of the military. Senator John Warner, chairman of the House Armed Services Committees, said, Even though former President Bush began the reduction in the military s budget, President Clinton went too far in the 1990s in cutting spending and shrinking the size of the force. Although the military under President Clinton has been deployed to more conflicts, and more nations during his administration, General Shelton was looking for more funding to offset the amounts taken from reserve units to fund front-line units currently deployed throughout the world. Each of the Generals in charge of the individual services that make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said that billions of dollars more is needed to correct funding problems caused by the growing number of U.S. military deployments overseas. Combat unit readiness throughout the military has dropped to over 20 percent and mission capability rates on the aircraft in the Air Force is down by 10 percent over the last decade. These decreases in readiness can be attributed to past under funding of spares, high operations tempo, loss of experienced airmen and an aging aircraft fleet.
MILITARY PAY INCREASEOn Jan. 1 of this year, President Clinton instituted an across-the-board pay increase of 4.4% to all members of the military. This has been the largest pay increase the military has had in over 20 years. It will also fund a pay increase to mid-range officers and all non commissioned officers and raise retirement benefits for those retiring after 20 years of military service from 40 percent of base pay to 50 percent their base pay. The next two pages show the increase with both the current military pay schedule as of Jan. 1, 2000 and the pay schedule for Jan. 1, 1999. Please note that both schedules reflect career sea pay due to this information being taken from the United States Marine Corps Web Site. Also for ease of readability, all blank areas denote that the maximum pay allowed for that pay-grade are halted at the last entry due to promotion restrictions. Any blank or empty areas before the first entry denotes that the minimum number of years to reach that pay grade must be met. No one during peacetime is permitted to achieve that rank or pay-grade prior to achieving his or her minimum number of years of active duty service. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:In August, the submarine tragedy in the Barents Sea greatly indicated the gap that exists between the U.S. and the once respected and feared Russian military. The difference between the two forces is best illustrated by a comparison of the respective defense budgets of both the United States and Russia. The military budget for the United States in 1999 was almost $280 billion while the Russian budget was just a fraction of that, at an estimated $5.6 billion. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet budget was anywhere from $300 to $400 billion in current dollars. Russian ports are now full of rusting hulks that the navy, given Russia’s struggling economy, cannot afford to maintain. Retired U.S. General William Odom, commenting on the accident in the Barents Sea said, “It does raise the question of why we need 10 carrier battle groups and close to 100 attack submarines. With the deteriorating Russian nuclear arsenal posing a severe environmental threat, U.S. military officials believe the real challenge for the U.S. is not Russia’s military strength but its weakness.”