President Barack Obama today sent to Congress a proposed defense budget of $708 billion for fiscal 2011. The budget request for the Department of Defense (DoD) includes $549 billion in discretionary budget authority to fund base defense programs and $159 billion to support overseas contingency operations (OCO), primarily in Afghanistan and Iraq. This proposal continues the reform agenda established in last year's DoD budget request and builds on the initiatives identified by the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR).
The QDR examines DoD strategies and priorities. It assesses the threats and challenges that the nation faces and re-balances DoD’s strategies, capabilities, and forces to ensure the U.S. military has the flexibility to address today’s conflicts and tomorrow’s threats. The BMDR evaluates the ballistic missile threat to the U.S. and its allies and articulates policy. It determines the appropriate role of ballistic missile defense in the country’s national security and military strategies.
“The fiscal 2011 budget request builds on the reforms begun in last year's defense budget,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. “These substantial changes to allocate defense dollars more wisely and reform the department’s processes were broadened and deepened by the analysis and conclusions contained in the Quadrennial Defense Review.”
The fiscal 2011 base budget request represents an increase of $18 billion over the $531 billion enacted for fiscal 2010. This is an increase of 3.4 percent, or 1.8 percent real growth after adjusting for inflation. The DoD needs modest real growth to maintain, train, and equip the forces that sustain our wartime efforts.
The fiscal 2011 OCO request will provide additional resources needed to sustain U.S. forces in Operation Enduring Freedom – in Afghanistan and elsewhere – and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Included are funds for pay and benefits, logistics and other support, force protection, continuing efforts to counteract improvised explosive devices, as well as funding to fully support the buildup in Afghanistan and to carry out a responsible drawdown in Iraq.
“The choices made and priorities set in these budget requests and strategic defense reviews reflect America's commitment to succeed in the wars we are in while making the investments necessary to prepare for threats on or beyond the horizon,” said Gates.
Also accompanying the 2011 budget proposal is a fiscal 2010 supplemental request of $33 billion to support the added costs of the President's new strategy in Afghanistan and strengthen U.S. force levels with approximately 30,000 additional troops.
“To make sure we have the resources needed to support our troops deploying to the Afghanistan theater, I will be asking the Congress to enact the supplemental by spring 2010,” said Gates.