This week, Secretary Gates and I announced the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the President’s FY2011 Defense budget submission, both of which build upon the reform effort of last year and represent as comprehensive a look at the state of our military as I have seen in my more than forty years of service.
As the hearings and debates begin, let me give you three over-arching things to consider.
First, there is a real sense of urgency here.
We have 200,000 troops deployed in harm’s way right now as part of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Another 150,000 or so are meeting our security commitments elsewhere around the globe, including more than 20,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen pitching in feverishly to help alleviate the suffering of the Haitian people.
That’s why we are asking Congress to fully fund our FY-10 supplemental and the FY-11 overseas contingency operations requests. It’s also why Secretary Gates and I want a six-percent increase for Special Operations Command. The budget also includes development of a next-generation ground combat vehicle, two more Army combat aviation brigades, greater unmanned aircraft capability, and nearly three billion for the V-22 Osprey program.
Our future security is greatly imperiled if we do not win the wars we are in. As the QDR makes clear, the outcome of today’s conflicts will shape the global security environment for decades to come.
That leads me to the second most important thing in this budget: proper balance.
Winning our current wars means investment in our hard-won irregular warfare expertise, but we must also maintain conventional advantages. It’s about balance. It’s about deterring and winning the big and the small wars, the conventional and the unconventional. Two challenges – one military.
On the whole, the budget request means never having to fight a fair fight. Thus, the President’s budget request will buy us another 42 F-35s and fund development of a Prompt Global Strike system. For ship construction, nine new ships in 2011 and puts the Navy on track for a long-term force structure of 10 carriers by 2040. Our budget request also seeks ten billion dollars for ballistic missile defense programs, including $8.4 billion for the Missile Defense Agency. It also devotes ample resources to improving our cyber defense capabilities.
My final point: This QDR and this budget builds upon the superb support the Government has provided our troops and their families for much of the last eight years.
Deborah and I meet regularly with young troops and their spouses, and though proud of the difference they know they are making, they are tired. So you will see in this budget nearly nine billion dollars for family support and advocacy programs. Childcare and youth programs increase by $87 million dollars over last year. Military spouse employment will get a $2 million dollar plus up and we will increase the budget to $2.2 billion dollars for wounded, ill and injured members.
Lastly, I would like to close by saying how proud I am of our troops and their families for their service and the many sacrifices they endure on a daily basis. It is their welfare and the security of our nation that drove the formulation of this budget request.
- Adm. Mike Mullen
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