Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Obama's Last Defense Budget Adds Funds for Europe, Counterterrorism

President Barack Obama's last defense budget proposal totals $583 billion and marks a legacy document that seeks to prolong a fundamental shift in the ways the nation prepares for and fights wars -- changes for which he has advocated with mixed results.
The $583 billion proposal for fiscal 2017, an amount some lawmakers in Congress have already charged isn't enough, represented an increase of $2.4 billion or less than 1 percent from the level enacted in fiscal 2016.
The total included $524 billion for the base budget that pays for the daily operations of the Defense Department and weapons programs, and $59 billion for the so-called war budget, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Arriving at the final figures involved last-minute bickering between the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Pentagon over which items should go into the OCO account, which is not subject to the restrictions of the Budget Control Act and the sequester process, according to sources.
"This budget marks an inflection point" for the military, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a statement. "Even as we fight today's fights, we must also be prepared for the fights that might come in 10, 20 or 30 years."
In a lengthy fact sheet, the White House said that the $4.1 trillion overall federal budget proposal "provides the resources to address security threats wherever they arise and continues to demonstrate American leadership around the world."
Counting Defense and State department resources, the White House said that the budget was devoting a total of $11 billion to defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL, in fiscal 2017. more