Obama’s War Budget: ‘Slush Fund’ or the New Normal? – Defense One

Lawmakers say the Obama administration’s Overseas Contingency Operations funding request is a “slush fund” that gives the Pentagon a free pass to engage in any fight, anywhere, without congressional oversight.

Pentagon officials say they need flexibility in an era of unanticipated flare-ups and sequestration-induced cutbacks.

The back-and-forth over OCO funding belies both sides’ resignation to an uncomfortable reality: This is the new normal.

Of the $65.8 billion total requested by the Obama administration for OCO, $58.6 billion is slated for the Defense Department — $20.9 billion less than the $79.4 billion placeholder put into the budget for fiscal year 2015 when it was released in March. As Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work pointed out Wednesday in his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on the OCO budget, the request is also $26.7 billion, or roughly one-third, less than the $85.3 billion Congress approved for OCO in its current budget, and $100 billion less than the $159 billion OCO budget four years ago.

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via Obama’s War Budget: ‘Slush Fund’ or the New Normal? – Defense One.

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