Six-Step Program

The Fiscal 2015 defense budget request is a blueprint for “rebalancing” the US military in six ways, Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. James Winnefeld said last week. First, the budget plans for a “rebalance of the type of wars” the US is postured to fight; more toward “full-spectrum threats,” though it also retains capability for counterinsurgency, said Winnefeld during a Bloomberg defense budget conference in Washington, D.C. Second, the budget accounts for a rebalance of national military posture “around the world,” to include a new scheme of pre-positioning supplies, forward presence, forward basing, and engagement with allies. Third, it includes a rebalance of “capability, capacity, and readiness;” preserving capabilities and readiness, but with far less capacity. Fourth, it changes the “tooth-to-tail ratio” by making support leaner. Fifth, it “rebalanc[es] the Active and Reserve” components. Finally, it “rebalanc[es] military compensation.” Winnefeld said limiting pay growth is not “breaking faith” with the troops. “One of the ways we keep faith” with them “is to only send them into combat with the best possible training and equipment, and to take care of them when they come home,” which won’t be possible if compensation continues to surge out of balance with the other considerations, he said. “These changes will allow them . . . to continue serving in a modern and ready force,” Winnefeld asserted.