Today the Obama Administration released its budget for Fiscal Year 2013, continuing the reduction and cutting of the Defense Department after the end of the Iraq War and the draw down from Afghanistan.
During the Pentagon’s press briefing today, the Comptroller of DoD Robert Hale, said that the defense department “fully supports the strategic triad”, and that the FY13 continues to fully support US strategic deterrence. However, SSBN(X) procurement will be delayed until 2021 to allow the program to “mature” but Mr. Hale stated that the delay will not affect US strategic security or deterrence.
Through the proposed budget, the Administration intends to maintain the Air Force’s Minuteman III missile through 2030 and modernize the heavy bomber force.
The Administration has asked congress for an addition $363 billion for retaining nuclear weapons viability, upgrading to the W76 and B61 nuclear weapons, and continuing the Enduring Stockpile Program. $51.3 million is provided for dismantling and deactivating retired nuclear warheads, continuing a process established in the Nuclear Posture Review and the New START Treaty.
The Administration has also asked for $9.7 billion for missile defense in order to continue to counter near-term threats from short- and medium-range missiles in Europe through the implantation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach.
In order to reduce the amount of vulnerable nuclear materials around the world, the budget includes $2.5 billion, a $163 million or 7 percent increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration to secure material and prevent proliferation.
The budgets released today only represent what the President’s ideal budget would look like and simply a point for negotiation with a radically divided and polarized congress. Coupled with election year politicking and bluster, this budget may look radically different from this document.