Everyone in Washington realizes that a new budgetary climate has taken hold for defense expenditures. Difficult decisions will need to be made in the 2013 Defense budget, to be released this month. According to a recent Government Executive/ Nextgov article, there are plans for cutting $487 Billion over the next decade.
To explain these cuts, the Pentagon has released a “Defense Budget Priorities and Choices” document. Based on this document and some statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, it appears as if cyber and space programs will not be cut. In fact, there will be additional investment in these areas. From Nextgov:
“The 2013 Defense budget, which will be released next month, will include increased investments in cyber technology and space systems, Panetta said, echoing comments he made when the Pentagon released a new strategy earlier this month.
Today Panetta said Defense needs to "leap ahead to defeat the enemy" across many domains, including space and cyberspace. He added that Defense managers need to make better use of information technology systems as part of a process to cut $60 billion from the department's overhead costs.”
We feel this is a very wise and logical move by the Pentagon. It’s a combination of looking back to see what delivers great value, and looking ahead to envision future needs.
Space systems provide the situational awareness that is a requirement today before American troops engage with the enemy. Plus, space supports the rapidly growing bandwidth needs driven by the increased use of UAVs. Space programs have proven their value.
Cyberspace is the new emerging battlefield. We need to establish and maintain IT superiority in that arena, just as we have in space. These advantages must be maintained, while we also learn to curtail less critical defense spending.