Funding from Efficiencies is Risky Business

Funding high priority programs, such as the Air Force’s future long-range strike platform, through anticipated efficiency savings is risky business, said Todd Harrison, a budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C. Rarely do events go according to plan when dealing with multi-billion-dollar procurement projects, said Harrison in remarks last week at CSBA’s discussion on the forthcoming Fiscal 2012 defense budget. In January, Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined more than $100 billion in savings to be gained over the next five years by eliminating ineffective or unnecessary initiatives. The goal is to redirect those funds towards higher priorities like the new bomber. But Harrison said there will be “a lot of really difficult choices within the defense budget in the next few years,” if those projected savings do not materialize.