Budgetary turmoil at the Department of Defense, 2010-2014
The austerity measures known as sequestration, a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, took effect in 2013—resulting in large across-the-board cuts in funding at the Department of Defense (DOD). Over the past five years, DOD also faced other budgetary turmoil, notably the government shutdown in 2013, five episodes of planning for shutdowns, and annual continuing resolutions rather than on-time budgets.
As comptroller and chief financial officer at the Pentagon during this period, Robert Hale was intimately involved in DOD’s efforts to accommodate the turmoil. In a new paper, “Budgetary turmoil at DOD from 2010 to 2014: A personal and professional journey,” Hale documents the problems caused by the turmoil including mission degradation, waste of taxpayer dollars, and harm to employee morale. He provides behind-the-scene glimpses of how DOD managed its financial affairs during this tumultuous period and explains how the turmoil affected him personally.
On September 2, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence hosted Robert Hale, presently a fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton, for a discussion of the paper. Representative Don Beyer (D-Va.), who serves on the Joint Economic Committee among others, also joined the discussion. Michael O’Hanlon, author of “The Future of Land Warfare,” and Brookings senior fellow, moderated the session.
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We're at an impasse where we're not going to give North Korea what they want, and the North Koreans are not giving us what we want. [Each week that passes without progress] really lays bare the anemic nature [of the declaration President Trump and Kim Jong-un made in June in Singapore].