DOD Seeks Budget Stability

Pentagon acquisition boss Ash Carter said the 2011 budget would employ the same guiding principles—performance, adaptability, and quantity—that led to the 2010 program cuts, and he said Defense Secretary Bob Gates is committed to “continued real growth” to maintain skills and capabilities he believes are needed now. Speaking Jan. 20 at a Washington defense conference, Carter said the topline will not grow at the double-digit clip of the immediate post-9/11 years, but DOD expects more program stability. The Administration knows, said Carter, that the investment part of the budget is “differentially damaged” in times of flat or reducing budgets. However, the Gates Pentagon, he said, wants programmers and acquisition officials to put an end to the “erosion of discipline” prompted by abundant funding. No matter how great a program is, if it is not performing it will get deserved extra scrutiny, Carter said.