White House Preparing Fiscal Roadmap for Pentagon

The administration likely won’t roll out its 2015 fiscal year budget request before the end of next month, though.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Stafff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey deliver remarks earlier this month in Washington. The two leaders on Thursday said they were concerned about potential ramifications following the execution of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un's powerful uncle.
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Jordain Carney
Jan. 7, 2014, 7:15 a.m.

Budget ex­perts don’t ex­pect the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fisc­al year 2015 budget re­quest un­til at least late Feb­ru­ary, but the White House could provide some guid­ance to the Pentagon this week.

Sources told De­fense News that the de­part­ment ex­pec­ted to get guid­ance about the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s up­com­ing re­quest from the Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Budget around Christ­mas. That was likely delayed be­cause of the two-year deal passed by Con­gress last month.

Once the the de­part­ment re­ceives the guid­ance OMB and Pentagon of­fi­cials can be­gin their an­nu­al back-and-forth over spe­cif­ic spend­ing pro­vi­sions — in­clud­ing top-line num­bers. The Pentagon’s base budget re­quest is capped at $521 bil­lion, un­der the budget agree­ment.

One area of con­ten­tion could be how much is spent on Afgh­anistan. That fund­ing is in­cluded un­der over­seas con­tin­gency op­er­a­tions spend­ing, which isn’t un­der the Pentagon’s spend­ing cap. But what sort of force the United States will have in the coun­try after 2014 is un­known. Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have pressed Afghan Pres­id­ent Ham­id Kar­zai to sign a bi­lat­er­al se­cur­ity agree­ment, but Kar­zai wants to push the sign­ing un­til after the coun­try’s elec­tions in April.

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