Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Big Defense News Coming. . .

While many folks in America try their best to slack off this week, here in the Pentagon it's actually a pretty big time of the year for us, as we close on the details of the next budget to Congress, in this case the Fiscal Year 2006 budget.

That budget isn't due to the Hill until February of 2005-- and won't even take effect until FY06 rolls around, in October 2005-- but right now the last pencil marks are being made by the Services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the President's Office of Management and Budget.

Now, future budgets are classified until release, so the specifics I can't talk about for a few more weeks.

However, I will say that this is by far the most surprising defense budget I've ever seen. There are a LOT of big changes afoot. A number of very high-profile programs are going to look radically different after this budget drops on the Hill.

Bottom line? The Bush Administration *is* serious about deficit reduction this year; even Defense had to foot its share of the cuts. In response, a number of defense "rice bowls" are probably going to end up overturned to pay the kitty.

I for one can't wait to hear the wailing from Congress; a number of Reps and Senators are going to be crying at all the pork-trimming that went on.

I'm just surprised nothing's leaked yet out there in the ethernet, no stories from depressed contractors worried about their golden geese. Given that the Boeings/Lockheed Martins/Northrop Grummans of the world usually see the (classified!) budget decisions before many of us building weenies do, it's actually shocking that no one's complained to the Washington Post yet again about "that damn Rummy's addiction to transformation."

Heh. Should be a fun year. More in a few weeks!

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