Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook recently underscored the need for certainty in the Department of Defense’s budget, citing concerns about training and readiness that have arisen due to the uncertainty of the last few years.
"Ultimately, there's a price to be paid for budget gridlock, particularly with the Department of Defense," Cook said.
For fiscal year 2017, the Defense Department requested $582.7 billion, a figure determined by the state needs of the military branches and investments that would address readiness issues. The budget reflects Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s continued emphasis on investment in modernization, force structure and readiness. Furthermore, the budget takes into account efforts to address these concerns, while still taking the needs of the branches into account. For these efforts to bear fruit, the department argues that it needs certainty on budgetary issues.
"We'd all like more money to try to address this right away overnight, but that's not the reality of the budget situation we're in," Cook said. "This has to be an investment over time, which is why budget certainty and planning going forward – not just this fiscal year, but going forward – are also so important to the secretary of defense."