Work’s Budget Preview

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Wednesday offered a peek at what will be in the Fiscal 2016 Pentagon budget going to Congress next Monday. Speaking at a Center for New American Security event in Washington, D.C., which was co-sponsored by the NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation, Work said the budget will include $800 million “to continue the European Reassurance Initiative,” which funds an increase in NATO deployments meant to counter Russia’s adventurism in Ukraine. “You’ll also see us … adding more ISR,” or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance funding, Work said, because “we never have enough” to meet demand. Other areas getting an increase, include nuclear weapons, space, sensors and munitions, missile defense, cyber, unmanned undersea vehicles, sea mines, “high speed strike weapons,” electromagnetic railguns, and high-energy lasers. These areas all dovetail with Work’s “third offset” strategy of seeking leap-ahead technologies that will let the US stay ahead of its challengers militarily even with sharply diminished manpower and force structure. Asked by Air Force Magazine if there’s enough time for these new initiatives to reach fruition before adversaries fully catch up, Work said, “I think so. It depends on the resources” and whether sequestration resumes in Fiscal 2016. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.