Cushman on Military Budgets FY15

GAI | March 6, 2014

Dr. Charles Cushman spoke with Lauren Murphy from The Voice of Russia yesterday. He fielded questions about the nearly $80 billion Pentagon budget proposed for FY2015, and how Congress is likely to respond.

Dr. Cushman called the $80 billion a place holder, since negotiations are still happening between Afghanistan and the United States over how may US troops will remain in the country. He predicts nothing major will happen on this issue until late April when Afghanistan holds its next presidential elections.

The interview also discussed the role of lobbying in defense budgeting. He said that a decrease in spending will mean less business for defense companies. They will be watching and lobbying Congress very closely.

“Members of Congress love to hear this kind of lobbying because it plays right into their desire to protect jobs back home in their districts. They all have to run for reelection in the fall so anything that they can use as a sign that they are trying to protect jobs makes them look better for the voters back home.”

He added that, “the defense industry has known for the last couple of years that a draw down is coming, and they want to make it as small as possible.”

Cushman concluded “current affairs around the world– the sudden increase in tensions is making the effort to cut the defense budget awful difficult to sell to Congress.”

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