President George W. Bush today released the details of his 2003 Department of Defense budget proposal to fight the war against terrorism, provide for homeland defense and accelerate changes to transform the U.S. military. To address these needs, the President's budget proposes $369 billion for DoD plus $10 billion, if needed, to fight the war on terrorism - for a total of $379 billion.
The budget is an investment in the nation's most important priority in a world of constant change: a fundamental transformation in ideas, attitudes and action. The budget and the process of transformation it represents are based on the two primary responsibilities for the Department of Defense: to protect our nation and invest tax dollars wisely.
The roadmap for transformation is the Quadrennial Defense Review, a comprehensive examination of defense priorities. The road test has been the war against terrorism, which has witnessed the integration of horseback warriors with high-tech weapons, confirming the need for transformation while helping shape our priorities.
That process concluded that - to prevent and, when necessary, prevail in - the unconventional wars of the 21st Century, the United States needs solid intelligence, high-tech tools, the abilities to project force over long distances, hunt down hidden enemies, and, most important, well-trained and motivated people.
The 2003 budget balances immediate threats to national security with the long-term process of military transformation by:
Defending the American People
* Winning the War Against Terrorism and Protecting the U.S. Homeland
The President added $10.1 billion to the DoD budget bringing the total to $369 billion. Of this increase, approximately $9.4 billion is to strengthen our fight against terrorism. In addition, the budget includes $7.8 billion for missile defense, and an added $300 million to counter biological attacks.
* A new approach to security
The budget reflects two major changes in DoD policy. First, the budget focuses on the capabilities needed to counter different types of threats rather than trying to anticipate where those threats may come. Second, the budget expands the definition of the nuclear triad from the traditional sea, air, and land based nuclear weapons to that of offensive nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, missile defenses, and responsive infrastructure. This New Triad will enable the U.S. to reduce the number of nuclear warheads.
Creating the Military of the 21st Century
* Saving over $9 billion from management and program changes
The budget reflects savings of over $9 billion from management changes and from the termination, reduction, and restructuring of various programs.
* Investing in people
Transformation depends most of all on well-trained and motivated people. The budget includes a 4.1 percent increase in basic pay with an option for targeted raises for mid-career personnel and those with skills in high demand in the private sector.
* Encouraging Innovation and Collaboration
The military cannot win the battles of the 21st century by working in isolation, much less in competition. The budget invests $5.5 billion in a superior command, control, and communications infrastructure that moves a high volume of warfighting information, plus $826 million to develop a new communications system to provide survivable, secure communications for the warfighter.
* Investing in the technology of 21st Century warfare.
The most important battles of the 21st Century may not be clashes between armies, navies and air forces. Instead, the U.S. is likely to face unconventional enemies that will be defeated with intelligence, precision weapons and agile forces. The budget includes substantial investment to improve intelligence-gathering and $9.9 billion for Science and Technology (S&T) programs. It also invests $1 billion in unmanned vehicles, from surveillance planes to underwater systems. The budget also includes $1 billion to convert four submarines that now carry nuclear weapons to instead fire cruise missiles from stealth locations and insert Special Forces into battle.
* Improving the way the Department of Defense operates.
The budget asks Congress for more flexibility to transform the Department of Defense while accepting more responsibility for delivering results. In addition, it moves more DoD resources from the bureaucracy to the battlefield, to include progressing toward reducing all headquarters staff by 15 percent.
Transformation: A Long Process that Begins Now
This budget represents a significant transformation in both attitude and action. Transformation will be a long, difficult process. But in an organization of the military's size, a small amount of change goes a long way. And while the process of transformation will not be complete with a single budget, it can begin in one. There has never been a more compelling time to start.