President Obama’s vision for a smaller, more flexible military focused on counter-terrorism, rather than large-scale land wars, is leaving the Army without the budget to modernize its aging weapon systems.
The Washington Times reports:
The Army’s share of the total defense budget grew significantly over the past decade. The nation’s largest military branch spent billions of dollars on the health care and salaries of its soldiers, and the active roster ballooned from 480,000 to more than 570,000.
More billions were spent on the never-ending quest to protect soldiers by providing superarmored vehicles, special body armor, and bomb-detection and sophisticated surveillance gear.
Today, as the fog of war is clearing, the Army sees that something is missing. Though upgraded with new technology, its front-line combat systems are stuck in the post-Vietnam, Cold War era of the 1980s. Its budget is set to stay around $134 billion next year, with procurement falling by $1.3 billion from $19.5 billion this year.