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TABLE OF CONTENTS
This week President George W. Bush signed into law the Defense Department Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2003 (FYí03). The bill includes a total of $355.1 billion for the military, $37.5 billion more than last year; an increase of 12 percent. The total is below the Bush Administrationís original request of $366.7 billion.
The Defense Department appropriations legislation is just one of three appropriations bills that contain significant funding for the military. The annual military construction appropriations bill, which totals $10.5 billion for FYí03, provides funding for the construction of military housing and facilities at U.S. military bases worldwide, as well as covering costs associated with the closure and environmental clean up of bases. Additional funds for the military are included in the annual Energy and Water Appropriations Act, which funds the nuclear weapons-related activities of the Department of Energy. This legislation has not yet been enacted, but will provide roughly an additional $15 billion for the military.
For the most part the final legislation approved by Congress mirrors the Administrationís original request, funding the majority of programs at or near what was proposed by the White House. The most significant difference was Congressís unwillingness to create a $10 billion "contingency fund." When the original White House budget proposal was released in February, the Administration included a $10 billion request for unallocated funds, saying that the money would be used as needed to cover expenses associated with military operations in Afghanistan and the war on terrorism.
While Congress has been supportive of White House requests for this type of funding, members were unwilling in this case to allocate resources without a thorough understanding of specific spending plans, viewing it as undermining their "power of the purse." Although the final legislation did not include the $10 billion, Congressional leaders made it clear that they would approve the funds once a specific request was made by the White House that included details of how they would be used. When this $10 billion is added to the $355 billion already approved, the difference between the total requested by the administration and what was finally approved shrinks to $1.6 billion, or less than one-half percent.
Other highlights of the funding package include:
$7.4 billion for missile defense (just below the Administrationís request), including $3.2 billion for Ballistic Missile Defense Midcourse Defense, which is the cornerstone of the Administrationís proposed national missile defense program;
$417 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (or "Nunn-Lugar") program, the amount requested by the administration;
Cancellation of the Armyís Crusader artillery system, as requested by the White House, with $476 million budgeted for that program plus a further $115 million reallocated to other artillery improvement programs;
Full funding of the DDG-51 destroyer ($2.3 billion for two ships), LPD-17 Amphibious Assault Ship ($596 million for 1 ship), the Virginia class attack submarine ($1.5 billion for one sub), the F-22 fighter ($4.7 billion for research and development and 23 aircraft), the Joint Strike Fighter ($3.5 billion for research and development), the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft ($1.6 billion for 11 aircraft), and the Comanche helicopter ($915 million for research and development); and
Increased funding for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Fighter ($3.2 billion for 46 aircraft, $100 million and two aircraft more than requested), the C-17 transport aircraft ($3.3 billion for 15 aircraft, $600 million and 3 aircraft more than requested) and the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter program ($270 million for 19 helicopters, $117 million and 7 helicopters more than requested.
Spending on the four major Pentagon accounts breaks down as follows:
Operations and Maintenance: $114.8 billion total, an increase of $9.8 billion (9.3 percent) over last year, but $16.8 billion below the administrationís request. Most of this difference, however, would be covered by the $10 billion contingency funding withheld by Congress.
Personnel: $93.6 billion, an increase of $11.5 billion (14 percent), but $600 million below the administrationís request. This includes, as requested, a 4.1 percent minimum pay raise for military personnel, with raises of up to 6.5 percent for mid-career officers and senior enlisted personnel, as well as increasing the housing allowance for personnel, and $2.1 billion for additional medical benefits for military retirees.
Procurement: $71.5 billion, $10.6 billion (17.4 percent) more than last year, and $4.3 billion (6.4 percent) more than requested by the White House.
Research and Development: $58.6 billion, $9.7 billion (19.8 percent) more than last year, and $4.9 billion (9.1 percent) more than requested.
With so much new funding made available, the Pentagon and Congress were able to delay tough choices about a large number of big ticket programs yet again and avoid, at least for the time being, decisions about whether such programs are truly transformational, or merely pricey remnants of the Cold War. Yet with rumors already leaking from the Pentagon about some of the issues being raised as the Defense Department puts some of the final touches on its proposed FYí04 budget -- which is due to the White House by the end of the year -- itís clear that some choices that supporters of higher military spending will find distasteful may be coming in the not-too-distant future.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) has released "Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine Free World." The report, the fourth produced in the annual series, provides a country-by-country analysis of mine use, production, trade, stockpiling, humanitarian demining, and mine survivor assistance. The ICBL initially undertook the Landmine Monitor Initiative in order to "monitor implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, and more generally to assess the efforts of the international community to resolve the landmine crisis." One hundred fifteen researchers in 90 countries compiled the report, which was released to the Fourth Meeting of States parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva Sept. 16.
The Mine Ban Treaty was opened for signature in December 1997. As of September 25, 2002, 129 countries have signed the Mine Ban Treaty, and another 16 have ratified it. While the majority of countries around the world have joined the Mine Ban Treaty, there are some notable exceptions to the community of nations committed to ending the destruction caused by these indiscriminate weapons. Among the noteworthy countries outside the Treaty are China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Israel and the United States. Countries the United States considers "rogue states," including Libya and Iraq, also have not joined the Mine Ban Treaty.
The United States is increasingly alone in its opposition to the Treaty. In fact, Finland is the only European Union country not to have signed or ratified the Treaty and the United States and Cuba are the only countries in the Western Hemisphere to be outside the treaty. The United States and Turkey are the only NATO countries not to have signed the Treaty.
Although much progress has been made with regard to eliminating landmines and their deleterious effects, the report describes suspected continued use of landmines by countries around the world. India and Pakistan have both laid tens of thousands of new mines, according to the report, as tensions between the two countries have increased. Burma and Russia are alleged to have used mines in the past year as they deal with internal insurgencies in their territories. Iran is also accused of having supplied allies in Afghanistan and other countries with mines, and forces in Nepal, Somalia, and Georgia were singled out for mine use in the last year. In Afghanistan, the report details landmine use by Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and Northern Alliance fighters during the war there in 2001. However, Afghanistan has now become the latest country to join the Landmines Treaty.
Mine casualties that in the past have been estimated at 26,000 per year, are now down to between 15,000 and 20,000 a year. The report attributes the decrease in casualties to increased mine-awareness and demining programs. Other significant advances include the destruction of approximately 34 million stockpiled anti-personnel landmines by 61 countries, including seven million in 2001. In addition, $1.4 billion has been spent on demining endeavors over the last ten years. The United States is the largest contributor to demining programs, donating $69 million alone in 2001. However, that total was $13 million less than the amount the United States spent in 2000, according to the Landmine Monitor report. Funding for demining programs in general fell $4 million in 2001. Although in some cases the programs are financially strapped, mine clearance does continue in 74 countries around the world.
The Bush Administration is currently undergoing a review of U.S. landmine policy. It is anticipated that the Bush policy will take a step back from former President Clintonís commitment to join the Mine Ban Treaty by 2006. It is expected that the results of the landmine review will be released shortly.
For more information on Landmine Monitor see, "First Meeting of States Parties to Landmines Treaty Meet in Maputo," Weekly Defense Monitor, May 6, 1999, "Positive Steps, But Landmines Remain Major Issue," Weekly Defense Monitor, October 5, 2000, "Landmines Threaten Troops and Civilians," Weekly Defense Monitor, September 25, 2001, or visit the ICBLís website.
On October 14, 2002, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)ís Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense program (GMD) had its ninth integrated flight test (IFT-9). In it, Orbitalís modified Minuteman ICBM carrying a mock warhead and three decoys was intercepted by Raytheonís exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV). This was the fourth successful intercept in a row for the program and the fifth overall. But there is a caveat: all the tests took place under highly contrived circumstances, with an abundance of prior information on the targets and decoys, and should not be considered accurate reflections of how the system would perform in an actual conflict. Unfortunately, MDA is barreling ahead with the program and is looking to field it long before GMD has proven its reliability.
IFT-9 is said to have included the same three decoy balloons (one large, two small) in its target cluster as were used in IFT-8, but the specifics are unknown as MDA classified decoy details, along with other information related to countermeasures used in testing, in May 2002. The decoy balloons were intended to increase the difficulty of determining the targetís location; however, critics pointed out that the infrared signals of the balloons differed greatly from that of the mock warhead. The large balloon had a much bigger infrared signature than that of the mock warhead, whereas the two small balloons had much lesser ones. Also, it is likely that the decoys used were similar to earlier decoys, meaning that the interceptorís computers would already have had their characteristics on file, making it easier to differentiate them from the mock warheads that were the actual targets.
In IFT-9, the Aegis SPY-1 radar was used for the first time in a national missile defense capacity. Located on the USS John Paul Jones, it tracked the target missile in-flight. MDA officials believe that eventually the SPY-1 radar, which was originally designed as the centerpiece of the Navyís Aegis air-defense system, might be used to help develop a sea-based midcourse missile defense system or to incorporate sea-based radar into the GMD program. In this case, however, the information it gathered was simply passed to the GMDís battle management system and was not used to achieve the intercept.
Also used to track the missile in flight but not used to achieve the intercept was a C-band transponder on the mock warhead. Because the powerful X-band radar (XBR) that the GMD system will need is still being developed, a prototype ground-based radar is temporarily being used instead. This alternate radar (located in Hawaii) is not in the correct position to track the missiles during their entire flight, however, so a beacon was placed on the mock warhead to transmit location data to the interceptor to make up for the absent XBR. A C-band transponder and/or GPS instrumentation has been used in every flight test thus far. While this may be appropriate for the early stages of development, it certainly does not represent a realistic operational test.
IFT-9 was originally planned to take place in August 2002, but was twice delayed. First it was postponed for about a week while program officials scrambled to fix a leak in the kill vehicleís helium tank. Then it was delayed because of problems with the seals of an engine nozzle on the booster rocket. All in all, there was a seven-month gap between IFT-8 and IFT-9.
Now MDA officials say that the testing rate may slow even more. After IFT-10, which is scheduled to occur in December 2002, the hardware and software being produced for the flight test program will be moved directly to the Ft. Greely "test-bed facility" in Alaska. The lead systems integrator for GMD, Boeing, has been pressured by MDA, which in turn was pressured by the White House, to get program components quickly out in the field. This potentially could slow down the rate of testing since hardware production may not keep pace with the test schedule.
The Bush administration has never been demur about its wish to have some sort of missile defense capacity by 2004, and putting the testing elements in Alaska will allow supporters to assert that goal has been reached. But placing the emphasis on getting test components fielded before ensuring they actually work in realistic circumstances could very well slow GMDís development. It is ironic that an administration that has been so vociferous about the need for missile defense is willing to compromise the programís development to meet an artificial deadline.
Armed Predators Enforce Iraqi "No Fly" Zone -- Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers revealed that Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are being used to patrol the "No Fly" zone over southern Iraq, and have been used to strike ground targets using Hellfire missiles. Myers also said that Predators have been flying surveillance missions over Iraq for over a decade. Predators are ideally suited for the strike role over Iraq because they donít put pilots at risk, and because they are able to loiter for long periods over the area. Armed Predators operated by the CIA first appeared in Afghanistan late last year, and one was used in November in an attack that killed Mohammed Atef, Osama bin Ladenís second-in-command.
Taiwan to Consider U.S. Destroyer Lease -- Taiwanís Vice Minister of National Defense Kang Ning-hsiung has promised members of the countryís legislature that the government will consider the option of leasing four destroyers from the United States rather than buying them, reports Taiwan News (Oct. 24). Taiwan had originally planned to purchase the Kidd class destroyers, which were offered for sale by the United States in April, 2001. After reviewing the countryís fiscal year 2003 defense budget, however, legislators urged the government to push for a leasing agreement. One unnamed legislator quoted in the Taiwan News story said that while lawmakers would support the government in its negotiations with the United States, "if the U.S. refuses to lease them out, we would rather reject their offer for the arms sale."
U.S.-India, in First Joint Air Exercises -- The U.S. and Indian air forces began their first-ever joint training exercise on Oct. 22. The exercise, known as "Cope India," involves at least five C-130 Hercules aircraft from U.S. Pacific Air Force Command and more than 150 U.S. Air Force personnel, and seven An-32 aircraft, two Il-76 aircraft and more than 300 personnel of the Indian Air Force. According to Indian officials the exercise is the first of several joint training programs that will focus on anti-terrorism techniques and strategies. The exercise is being conducted near the city of Agra and is scheduled to last a week. In addition to being the first joint exercise between the two air forces, it is the first joint U.S.-Indian military exercise in more than forty years.
Higher Australian Defense Budgets May Require Tax Hike -- Australian Prime Minister John Howard believes a tax increase may be needed in order to pay for new defense spending in the wake of the terrorist attack in Bali, according to Australiaís News Interactive (Oct. 23). While saying that it was too early to tell if a tax hike would be necessary, Howard said some way had to be found to fund new military spending. "It is just elementary that when some transforming event like this occurs, you have to go back into your critical infrastructure in a whole lot of areas," Howard said. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Australiaís military budget for 2002 is $13.6 billion ($7.6 billion U.S.), while last yearís was $13.1 billion ($6.8 billion U.S.) or roughly 1.9 percent of the countryís Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Quotation of the Week -- "The stated policy of the United States is regime change [in Iraq]...However, if [Saddam Hussein] were to meet all the conditions of the United Nations, the conditions that I've described very clearly in terms that everybody can understand, that in itself will signal the regime has changed," President George W. Bush, speaking to the media prior to his meeting with NATO Secretary General George Robertson, October 21, 2002.
In recent weeks terrorist groups have carried out a series of attacks in Southeast Asia. Yet countries in the region like Indonesia, site of the bomb blast that killed more than 180 people, have been reluctant to confront their own home-grown terrorists. The Malaysian government has even been accused of having ties to the al Qaeda network. Why are these governments so unwilling to go after terrorism on their own soil? What are the social factors and politics involved? And how can the United States persuade these nations to help in efforts to prevent future acts of terrorism?
Joining Superpower moderator Lisa Simeone to discuss the issue this week will be Mark Thompson of Time magazine; Mercedes Tira Andrei, Washington Correspondent for Business World in the Philippines; and Pamela Sodhy, from Malaysia, an Adjunct Professor of History at Georgetown University.
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