As Congress kicks off its fiscal year 2016 budget deliberations, many key factors are still up in the air. Lawmakers will have to work on their defense budget and policy bills under the specter of sequestration, which is set to return in full in October. The Pentagon has begged for cuts in its personnel accounts, which are consuming an increasing portion of the defense budget, while lawmakers have insisted on waiting until the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission released its findings. And the Pentagon has tried for several years to shed unneeded assets – excess bases, aging platforms and entire fleets it insists it cannot afford under sequestration – while lawmakers have proven unwilling to agree to these cuts.
Tight budgets will continue the debate among military officials and lawmakers about what kind of military the United States needs, what balance of capacity and capability can best defend this country’s interests, and what role the military ought to play in the world going forward.
This FY ’16 budget on demand webinar will address a variety of topics, including:
- What new cuts did service officials propose, and what does that say about the military’s priorities going forward?
- What in the Pentagon’s budget request is likely to find support in Congress?
- Is the new Congress any more likely than the last to agree on a way to reverse sequestration, either in full or for defense spending?
- What sectors in the defense industrial base are protected in the budget request, and what sectors should be worried?
- How does the budget request balance traditional defense needs with the growing threats of terrorist organizations, lone-wolf attacks and cyber attacks around the globe?
Robert Hale, former under secretary of defense (comptroller) and chief financial officer for the Department of Defense. Mr. Hale served as the comptroller from February 2009 to June 2014, where he helped craft the department’s annual budget of more than $500 billion. In that role, he also helped oversee DoD financial policy and management as the department worked towards greater auditability. Prior to becoming DoD comptroller, Hale served as the Air Force comptroller, the executive director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers, and the head of the Congressional Budget Office’s National Security Division. Hale now works for Booz Allen Hamilton as a fellow and advisor.
Todd Harrison, senior fellow for defense budget studies at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Since joining CSBA in 2009, Mr. Harrison has authored a number of publications on trends in the overall defense budget, defense acquisitions, the defense industrial base, military personnel costs, military readiness, and the cost of the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan. Mr. Harrison is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and for the past two years has been named one of the Defense News 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense.
Roger Zakheim, former House Armed Services Committee general counsel and deputy staff director. Mr. Zakheim worked for HASC off and on from 2005 to 2013, serving as counsel, general counsel and deputy staff director. From 2008 to 2009 he served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense, focusing on policies and programs related to Iraq and Afghanistan coalition affairs. And he co-chaired Mitt Romney’s defense working group and led the defense transition team in Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Zakheim left HASC in 2013 to join Covington & Burling’s public policy and government affairs and defense, homeland, and national security groups.
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