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Monday, December 30, 2013

Potential Effects on Defense Spending of a Year-long Continuing Resolution and the March 2013 Sequesters - M-020713

Amy Belasco
Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget

This memorandum addresses concerns raised by Department of Defense and others that a year-long CR and a sequester could seriously compromise military readiness and cause significant disruptionto defense investment programs.
1 To address these concerns, this memo analyzes potential effects on Operation & Maintenance (O&M) funding, which supports military readiness, and Procurement, which funds investment in weapon systems, of a strict year-long CR and the March sequesters. In addition, the memo explains effects on the other major types of DOD spending for military personnel, military construction, and Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E).

Date of Report: February 7, 2013
Number of Pages: 21
Order Number: M-020713
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Friday, December 20, 2013

The New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions - R41219

Amy F. Woolf
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. After more than 20 hearings, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to ratification on December 22, 2010, by a vote of 71-26. Both houses of the Russian parliament—the Duma and Federation Council— approved the treaty in late January 2011, and it entered into force on February 5, 2011, after Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov exchanged the instruments of ratification.

New START provides the parties with 7 years to reduce their forces, and will remain in force for a total of 10 years. It limits each side to no more than 800 deployed and nondeployed land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers and deployed and nondeployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. Within that total, each side can retain no more than 700 deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs, and deployed heavy bombers equipped to carry nuclear armaments. The treaty also limits each side to no more than 1,550 deployed warheads; those are the actual number of warheads on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs, and one warhead for each deployed heavy bomber.

New START contains detailed definitions and counting rules that will help the parties calculate the number of warheads that count under the treaty limits. Moreover, the delivery vehicles and their warheads will count under the treaty limits until they are converted or eliminated according to the provisions described in the treaty’s Protocol. These provisions are far less demanding than those in the original START Treaty and will provide the United States and Russia with far more flexibility in determining how to reduce their forces to meet the treaty limits.

The monitoring and verification regime in the New START Treaty is less costly and complex than the regime in START. Like START, though, it contains detailed definitions of items limited by the treaty; provisions governing the use of national technical means (NTM) to gather data on each side’s forces and activities; an extensive database that identifies the numbers, types, and locations of items limited by the treaty; provisions requiring notifications about items limited by the treaty; and inspections allowing the parties to confirm information shared during data exchanges.

New START does not limit current or planned U.S. missile defense programs. It does ban the conversion of ICBM and SLBM launchers to launchers for missile defense interceptors, but the United States never intended to pursue such conversions when deploying missile defense interceptors. Under New START, the United States can deploy conventional warheads on its ballistic missiles, but these will count under the treaty limit on nuclear warheads. The United States may deploy a small number of these systems during the time that New START is in force.

The Obama Administration and outside analysts argue that New START will strengthen strategic stability and enhance U.S. national security. They contend that New START will contribute to U.S. nuclear nonproliferation goals by convincing other nations that the United States is serious about its obligations under the NPT. This might convince more nations to cooperate with the United States in pressuring nations who are seeking their own nuclear weapons.

Date of Report: December 5, 2013
Number of Pages: 40
Order Number: R41219
Price: $29.95

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Defense: FY2014 Authorization and Appropriations - R43323

Pat Towell
Coordinator Specialist in U.S. Defense Policy and Budget

President Obama’s FY2014 base budget request of $552.0 billion in discretionary budget authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) and defense-related programs of other agencies (excluding war costs), exceeds by $53.9 billion the legally binding cap on defense funding for FY2014 that was enacted in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act (P.L. 112-25). Unless the Budget Control Act (BCA) is amended, either Congress will have to cut the Administration’s National Defense request by $53.9 billion (about 9.8%) to meet the BCA cap of $498.1 billion, or else the BCA law will reduce the appropriation to the level set by the cap through a process of sequestration, beginning in January 2014.

In their initial actions on the annual defense funding bills for FY2014, the House and the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees of the Senate approved defense funding totals (excluding war costs) that were very close to President Obama’s so-called “base budget” (i.e., non-war) request, regardless of the BCA cap.

For DOD’s base budget, both the version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House on June 14, 2013 (H.R. 1960), and the version reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 20, 2013 (S. 1197), would differ from the President’s request by less than $50 million, in terms of the net totals authorized. For war-related operations (designated as “overseas contingency operations” or OCO), the Senate committee version of the authorization bill would make few changes to the Administration’s $80.7 billion request, while the Housepassed bill would add $5.4 billion.

Both versions of the authorization bill also include provisions bearing on contentious policy issues including the armed services’ handling of sexual assault cases and the treatment of detainees currently held at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In the case of the FY2014 DOD Appropriations bill (H.R. 2397), which funds most discretionary DOD programs except for military construction, the version passed by the House on June 24, 2013, and the version reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 1, 2013, differed by a relatively larger amount. Compared with President Obama’s request for $589.4 billion (including both base budget and OCO funds), the version passed by the House on June 24, 2013, would provide a reduction of about $4.14 billion while the version reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee on August 1, 2013, would make a net reduction of about $2.17 billion.

In conjunction with funding for military construction and for defense-related spending in other agencies in other appropriations bills passed by the House and reported by the Senate committee, either version of H.R. 2397 would result in total DOD base budget appropriations that would exceed the BCA limit for FY2014 by nearly as much as President Obama’s initial request.

Because legislation to fund the federal government in FY2014 had not been enacted prior to the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2013, DOD, like most other agencies, was then subject to a lapse in appropriations during which agencies are generally required to shut down. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), however, identified a number of exceptions to the requirement that agencies cease operations, including a blanket exception for activities that "provide for the national security." Under that exception, all active-duty military personnel and many DOD civilian employees remained on their jobs through October 17, 2013, when the FY2014 Continuing Resolution (P.L. 113-46) was enacted, which allowed DOD and all other federal
agencies to resume their normal operations through January 15, 2014, at a rate of spending equal to the rate provided by the FY2013 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (P.L. 113-6), subject to reductions made on March 15, 2013, by the BCA-mandated sequestration process.

Excluding war costs, the FY2014 Continuing Resolution funds DOD and defense-related programs of other agencies (which comprise the “National Defense” budget function) for roughly one-quarter of a year at a rate that would amount to an annual budget of $518 billion. That annual total would amount to a reduction of $34 billion (or 6.2%) from the President’s request for the socalled “base budget”—that is, excluding war costs. However, it would exceed the BCA cap on National Defense spending in FY2014 by $21 billion (or about 4%). Accordingly, if Congress funded the National Defense function at that level for the entire year, and if the BCA were not amended, OMB would be required to issue a sequestration order reducing National Defense funding by 4%, in order to meet the relevant BCA cap.

From FY2014 through FY2021, the annual caps on National Defense funding that were enacted into law as part of the BCA would increase by about $10 billion per year, which would not quite cover the anticipated cost of inflation.

For DOD, which accounts for about 96% of the National Defense budget, the Administration’s $526.6 billion base budget request for FY2014 exceeds by about $31 billion DOD’s postsequester, base budget funding level for FY2013, which is estimated by DOD at $495 billion.

Date of Report: November 20, 2013
Number of Pages: 90
Order Number: R43323
Price: $29.95

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