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Budgets To Shape Force: DoD Official (Sept. 19)

WASHINGTON -- The fiscal 2004-2009 DoD budget proposal will shape the force of the future, Program Analysis and Evaluation Director Stephen A. Cambone said here today.

After 18 months of preparation, the services and defense agencies began submitting their fiscal 2004 and '04-'09 budget proposals to DoD on Aug. 22, Cambone told Pentagon reporters in a noon briefing.

The '04 budget proposal, he noted, is the first to reflect Bush administration strategies and policies, while the '04-'09 plan will finance force transformation, meet homeland defense needs and address near-term threats. He said the goal is budgetary balance: to fund the anti-terror war, to effect transformation, and to foster readiness and address the needs of the military's people.

Cambone said his office is sorting through the services' budget proposals to see how they compare with DoD guidance.

At the same time, he noted, the DoD Comptroller is performing a parallel comparison of the service- and agency-proposed budgets. This, he said, provides Comptroller Dov Zakheim an idea of how the services and defense agencies measured the cost of their programs and whether they are internally consistent for budget purposes.

Toward the end of this month and into early October, Cambone said, he and Zakheim are to provide suggestions in response to what the services and agencies have done to assemble their proposed budgets.

Also in early October, Cambone noted, senior DoD leaders, including the secretary, deputy secretary, the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the service secretaries and chiefs, will be presented highlighted budget issues for deliberation.

Those senior leaders will be involved in each step of the budget deliberation process, he said. The process involves 'give-and-take' as programs are evaluated against the whole budget and given higher or lower priorities. Another re-sorting, he added, will occur between late October into November.

Near Thanksgiving, Cambone said, senior DoD leaders should have a set of budget recommendations that the defense secretary can take to the president.

Cambone noted DoD's fiscal 2002 budget addressed military quality of life needs -- pay, housing, missile defense, and science and technology investment. The 2003 budget, still in congressional appropriations and authorization committees, would provide investments in command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, such as the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, he noted.

Regarding the stewardship of taxpayer dollars, Cambone noted that DoD is working hard to install an improved financial management system. He said Zakheim has dedicated money, people and effort into putting that management system in place.

He called joint operational concepts a hot topic throughout DoD these days -- including during budget discussions. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Cambone pointed out, "continues to stress that we've got to move to a joint way of thinking about how we're going to fight."

Overall, the two budget proposals will illustrate DoD's fuller appreciation of it wants to shape the forces over time, Cambone concluded.

Cambone: Budget Plan Will Shape The Force Of The Future