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One Picture Tells The Tale of Syria | Main | "Rising Star" Congressional Republican Jumps into Senate Race to Unseat Democrat Mark Udall
February 26, 2014

2015 Proposed Defense Budget, The Role Of Defense In GOP Politics And Meeting The Rise Of China And More

The administration presented its proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Department Budget this week and it sent shockwaves through the national security world. While the Ryan-Murray budget deal eased the impact of the sequester cuts somewhat, we are now seeing the full impact of previous rounds of Obama defense reductions and it's not pretty.

The Army will have its numbers cut to levels not seen since prior to WWII. Other cuts include retirement of the Air Force's venerable A-10 Warthog and the Navy will begin the process of losing a carrier, temporarily cut its cruiser fleet in half and reduce the number of Littoral Combat Ships ordered from 52 hulls to 32 over the life of the project.

This is all just the administration's proposal and still has to pass Congress. But that's trickier than it has been in the past with the decline of the hawkish wing of the GOP and the rise of budget cutters.

And beyond the domestic impact of the budget fight there's the reason for all of this...foreign threats.

To navigate these murky and turbulent waters I spoke with defense analyst Bryan McGrath. Bryan is a retired naval officer who spent more than 25 years on active duty and was the lead strategist/author of the Navy's 2007 Maritime Strategy. Since his retirement he's written on defense issues in several places including the Navy oriented blog, Information Dissemination and is currently Managing Director of the defense industry consulting firm The FerryBridge Group. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Among the topics discussed:
-How we've gotten to this point in budgeting

-The realities of our political system drive up defense spending by putting parochial interests ahead of sound decision making.

-The political challenge for the Republican coalition that is becoming less hawkish and more budget conscious (with bonus John McCain bashing).

-The non-interventionist case for investing in sea power and for dealing with the expected next big challenge...China.

It runs about 30 minutes but it's time well spent if defense issues and how they impact the intra-GOP battles are of any interest to you.

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