Bud­get grid­lock im­per­ils na­tional de­fense

Arms sys­tems cuts look likely

The Washington Times Daily - - Front Page - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

De­fense an­a­lysts and Capi­tol Hill in­sid­ers are an­tic­i­pat­ing that au­to­matic fed­eral bud­get cuts will oc­cur Jan. 1 and force the armed forces to scrap plans for new weapons sys­tems.

Washington’s po­lar­ized po­lit­i­cal land­scape shows no signs of a com­pro­mise on taxes and spend­ing that would head off the 2011 Bud­get Con­trol Act’s re­quire­ment for across-the­board cuts to be­gin in nine months.

For the Pen­tagon, this would mean an­other 10-year, $500 bil­lion spend­ing cut in ad­di­tion to the al­ready bud­geted $487 bil­lion re­duc­tion. In the first year of the au­to­matic spend­ing re­duc­tions, the mil­i­tary would need to slash an ad­di­tional $50 bil­lion from its bud­get, likely end­ing a new long- range bomber and a new Army tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle, and shrink­ing the Navy’s fleet of 11 air­craft car­ri­ers.

“I didn’t use to think this way,” said Daniel Goure, a long­time de­fense an­a­lyst at the probusi­ness Lex­ing­ton In­sti­tute think tank. “But un­less one side

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

CLOSE EN­COUNTER: Pres­i­dent Obama peers into North Korea on Sun­day from an ob­ser­va­tion post in the De­mil­i­ta­rized Zone, the tense mil­i­tary bor­der be­tween the two Koreas in Pan­munjom, South Korea.

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