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Today at 5:52 PM

Trump budget will hike defense spending by $54B, says White House
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and I then told guys in the pub ... now noticed (says 8 minutes ago)
Trump lays out hike in military spending
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US President Donald Trump is seeking to boost defence spending by $54bn (£43bn) in his proposed budget plan for 2018, which is about a 10% increase.

The blueprint also calls for deep cuts elsewhere, including to foreign assistance and environmental budgets.

But Mr Trump's plan leaves large welfare programmes untouched, despite Republican calls for reform.

The president has consulted government agencies of his plans and will present his budget to Congress in May.

"We're going to do more with less and make the government lean and accountable," Mr Trump said at the White House.

The president, who vowed to increase military spending and preserve welfare programmes during his campaign, said the budget will focus on "military, safety, economic development".

"It will include an historic increase in defence spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it," he said.

Military spending has declined in recent years due to budgetary battles in Congress that led to spending freeze on defence.

Mr Trump's proposal would return the US closer to wartime spending.

He also said he would discuss his plans for infrastructure spending, in a speech to Congress on Tuesday. "We're going to start spending on infrastructure big," he said.

The Republican did not say how his budget proposal will tackle mandatory spending and taxes, promising those details to come later.

Mr Trump pledged to cut taxes during his presidential campaign, which would likely add to the national debt.

Keeping both of his campaign promises - boosting the military and protecting welfare - will put the president in a tough bind.

If he wants to boost the defence budget by $54bn without adding to the deficit, that money will have to come from somewhere - and mandatory spending on welfare and debt interest takes nearly 70% of the budget off the table.

Early reports are that the Environmental Protection Agency is facing sharp cuts, but its total annual budget is just over $8bn -a drop in the bucket.

The State Department has also been singled out as a source for the needed funds, and its $50bn annually (including $22bn in direct aid) makes it a fatter target.

The lion's share of humanitarian assistance goes to rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and Aids treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa, however, which will be difficult to touch. Also unlikely to get the axe is military support, dominated by $3.1bn annually to Israel.

There's a reason the Trump administration announced the military budget number before revealing where the money will come from. Spending is easy; cutting is hard.

The White House sent Mr Trump's 2018 budget blueprint, which begins on 1 October, to federal agencies on Monday,

The agencies will then review the plan and propose changes to the cuts as the White House prepares for negotiations with Congress.

The Republican-controlled Congress must approve any federal spending.

Mr Trump's plan is expected to face backlash from Democrats and some Republicans over cuts to domestic programmes.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said Mr Trump's plan is harmful to working families.

"Democrats will make crystal clear the misplaced priorities of the Administration and the Republican majority, and we will fight tooth and nail to protect services and investments that are critical to hardworking American families and communities across the country," she said.
Yesterday at 5:52 PM
Trump budget will hike defense spending by $54B, says White House
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while McCain, Thornberry rip White House budget plan on defense
The Trump administration's early budget plans for 2018 are already catching heat on Capitol Hill, from Democrats for domestic cuts and from the Republicans in charge of the armed services committees, who say it shortchanges the military.

White House officials say they plan to increase the base defense budget by $54 billion to $603 billion by slashing domestic spending and foreign aid. That netted a swift rebuke from House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and his Senate counterpart, Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who have each proposed a $640 billion base budget and argue this is a meager $18 billion more than President Obama had planned.

McCain, in a statement, said the figure was, "a mere 3 percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security... With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better."

The comments came as White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Monday the budget blueprint represents President Trump's priorities, including the military, the nuclear arsenal and border security – without adding to the 2018 deficit. The non-defense side of the budget will be $462 billion, Mulvaney said.

“We are taking his words and turning them into policies and dollars,” he said. “It reduces money to other nations, eliminates duplicative programs and eliminates programs that just don’t work.”

Asked how the defense top-line would carry forward Trump's pledge to rebuild the military, Mulvaney said it was too soon to say. The Defense Department would over the next two weeks craft its budget to the top-line provided by the White House. The White House will issue a fuller budget proposal in early May.

Big questions about the plan remain, including whether that defense money would be just for the Pentagon or for broader defense programs such as the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration; whether foreign aid and security assistance programs from the Department of State could be shifted over to DoD; or whether the money will flow into the Pentagon’s base budget or the Overseas Contingency Operations fund.

The biggest question of all — how a proposal that guts the non-defense budget would survive on Capitol Hill — suggests the White House has offered an opening negotiation position rather than a viable number. It’s a proposal sure to net a violent reaction from Senate Democrats, who have in recent years asked that defense increases be matched dollar-for-dollar on the non-defense side.

Democrats quickly signaled Monday they would oppose the plan. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, "This budget proposal is a reflection of exactly who this president is and what today’s Republican Party believes in: helping the wealthy and special interests while putting further burdens on the middle class and those struggling to get there.”

Squeezing Trump and Mulvaney from the opposite side of the aisle, in the lower chamber, Thornberry said, "we can and should do more" for defense.

"While we cannot repair all of the damage done by those cuts in a single year, we can and should do more than this level of funding will allow," Thornberry said in a statement. "The administration will have to make clear which problems facing our military they are choosing not to fix. We cannot make repairing and rebuilding our military conditional on fixing our budget problems or on cutting other spending."

Katherine Blakeley, a defense budget expert with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says a number of questions need to be addressed before the real details of the budget plan can be assessed. But one thing is clear, she said – that this plan is designed to be “politically untenable for the Democrats while trying to be as favorable as possible for the Republicans.”

Or as Benjamin Friedman of the CATO Institute put it, “This plan won’t happen because Democrats will block it.”

Since the imposition of the budget caps, Democrats have fought to maintain a one-for-one trade between defense spending and domestic spending. That was easier when they had top cover from President Barack Obama, but could prove more challenging with the Trump White House hammering Democrats for holding down on defense levels.

Congress would not only need to pass a 2018 budget resolution, which could pass with Republican alone, but a new law to raise the caps to allow the White House’s proposal. That would require Democratic votes.

“Republicans need 60 Senate votes to overturn the BCA cap for next year,” Friedman said. “I believe Schumer can keep enough of Democrats in line around the idea that an increase in defense must be matched by an increase in non-defense discretionary to stop this.”

Instead, he predicts the two parties will settle on a raising of the budget caps for both defense and non-defense spending, with an influx of cash into OCO.

Blakeley also notes that, by putting its marker for fiscal 2018 down now, the administration is setting up the still-unsettled fiscal 2017 appropriations discussion as a proxy war. The government is currently operating under a continuing resolution to fund the federal government, which expires at the end of April.

Mackenzie Eaglen, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said of Democrats, "This will really irk them and there's no reason for them not to go all in on this political battle. Cutting programs like Head Start and National Endowment for the Arts are not even popular among many Republicans.”

Because the plans pays for defense increases through the non-defense side and not deficit spending, the proposal is a nod at fiscal conservatives in Congress. Mulvaney was one of them before he left Congress to join the White House.

“Nobody wants to increase overall spending, and the only way you can do that without huge earth-shaking debates is by reducing other discretionary spending,” said James Jay Carafano, a national security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “There is a rational limit to how much you can do that."

It is also a nod toward defense hawks. Carafano described the White House’s number Monday as a "down payment" on the defense build-up Trump has repeatedly promised.

“The important thing to me is this is a clear statement of recognition that we are heading towards a hollow force,” Carafano said. “There’s not just a readiness crisis, there’s enormous modernization challenges, and you have trouble maintaining [operational] tempo. That’s the text book definition of a force that’s heading to hollow.”
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according to DefenseNews Army on track to integrate bigger gun on Stryker
The Army is trying to rapidly field Strykers with a bigger gun to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe amid concerns the service is outgunned by Russian counterparts, and so far the program is on track, according to Col. Glenn Dean, the project manager for Stryker.

Congress provided the Stryker program office funding in 2015 and 2016 to field Stryker infantry carrier vehicles with a 30 mm cannon to the regiment in Europe by 2018. A little more than $300 million is allocated for eight prototypes and upgrades to 83 production vehicles, plus spares.

General Dynamics Land Systems — the Stryker’s prime contractor — was authorized by the Army to hold a competition to select a gun and turret for the vehicle.

The company chose Kongsberg Defense Systems as the turret provider and ATK’s XM813 30 mm cannon for the gun in December 2015.

The Army started formal testing six weeks ago and so far has received six out of eight prototypes — as of Feb. 10 — at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, Dean said. A couple of subject matter experts from the 2nd Cavalry have devised a plan for all of the soldier equipment that would be loaded into a Stryker to test realistic operational weight distribution, and soldiers even have had a chance to fire the cannon, he added.

Later this summer, several 2nd Cavalry crews will arrive at Aberdeen to drive the vehicle, fire demonstration rounds and develop gunnery training plans, Dean said.

In January next year, the first vehicle will arrive in Germany for an early user test with about a company’s worth of soldiers, and they will run through gunnery and tactical training and prove out the concept before the full brigade set of vehicles shows up later in 2018, he said.

Not only is the program ahead of schedule, by a week, but it’s also under budget; so under budget that the Army reinvested the savings toward fielding Javelin anti-tank capabilities to the 2nd Cavalry at the same time it receives the Stryker vehicles next year, according to Dean.

“We didn’t have to go back to the Army and Congress to ask for money, we were able to do that with efficiencies we found in the program," he added.

Dean said the program has come together due to a variety of decisions and tradeoffs to keep pace with the schedule. Part of that meant sticking to the integration of relatively mature capabilities.

The tradeoffs manifested in the turret, for example, Dean said. The Army wanted a linkless ammunition feed system like what is used in the Apache helicopter, rather than the linked ammunition used in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, because the linked version can malfunction and the links come at an additional cost.

The Army also decided to forego an external hatch on the top of the turret and instead will have a remote turret design in the upgunned Stryker.

In terms of integration, there’s been some “minor teething problems,” Dean said, such as needing to tweak and update the turret software.

But considering the Army is bringing “disparate components together and trying to make them work” for the first time, Dean said, having only minor issues and continuing to stay on target in terms of schedule and cost, is a success.
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now I read
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President Donald Trump is pledging “an historic increase in defense spending” of $54 billion to $603 billion
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but neither Congressional Republicans nor defense budgets experts were very impressed at first glance.

“Such a budget request would represent an increase of $18.5 billion above the level proposed by President Obama for fiscal year 2018. In other words, President Trump intends to submit a defense budget that is a mere three percent above President Obama’s defense budget, which has left our military underfunded, undersized, and unready to confront threats to our national security,”
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chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says in a statement.

McCain said he and the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry, believe we should substantially spend more. They “agree,” McCain says, “a defense budget of $640 billion is required in fiscal year 2018 as a first step toward restoring military readiness, rebuilding our military, and reshaping our forces for the realities of 21st century warfare. With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just three percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better.”

Thornberry wasn’t quite as vivid, but he agreed with McCain. “Over the course of the Obama Administration, our military funding was cut 20 percent while the world grew more dangerous. While we cannot repair all of the damage done by those cuts in a single year, we can and should do more than this level of funding will allow,” Thornberry said in his statement.

The reaction from budget experts was cautious. “If the increases in defense are paid for by cuts in non-defense, then I think this proposal is more symbolic than anything,” Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies tells us in an email.

Mackenzie Eaglen, defense budget expert at the American Enterprise Institute, was skeptical as well. “It looks a lot bigger than it will ultimately be. That’s because the budget as is (with non-defense pay-fors) cannot pass Congress so the ultimate number will likely be negotiated downward,” she says, Eaglen has predicted that Trump will ultimately pay for his defense build-up, not with domestic spending cuts, but with
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But cutting non-defense budgets is exactly what Trump plans to do. Among the places he plans to
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, a huge shift from the days when former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said he’d willingly shift some of his budget to the State Department because it was so important. In fact, there was immediate reaction from an impressive array of recently retired four- and three-star generals, decrying the intention to slice the State and aid budgets.

“The State Department, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Peace Corps and other development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way. As Secretary James Mattis said while Commander of U.S. Central Command, ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.’ The military will lead the fight against terrorism on the battlefield, but it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of extremism– lack of opportunity, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness,” says a letter signed by more than 120 retired generals and admirals. The letter was released under the rubric of the
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“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump told governors assembled today for the National Governors Association’s annual meeting with the president. “It will include an historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it.”

Because Trump plans to cut large pieces from other departments, Harrison characterized this budget proposal as “a starting point in the negotiations with Congress. There are several other big questions that need to be answered, the most important one is
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? Right now DoD has about $30B per year of base budget funding tucked into the OCO budget. If the Trump budget moves some or all of that back into the base budget, then it is not really a $54B increase.”

Harrison also notes that the Obama administration had called for a $33 billion increase in the base national defense budget for fiscal 2018, “so Trump is only $21B above that.”

So it’s certainly a proposed increase, but this is only the very beginning of what I’m betting will become a knock-down, drag-out fight between the Congress and Trump, within Congress between
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and defense hawks and between Democrats and Republicans. Then, of course, there will be the crucial battle between the Senate and the House. And then there’s the old chestnut —
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? We’re just getting started.
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Jan 21, 2017
DefenseNews ranting about The Army Handgun: A New Poster Child for Acquisition Malpractice?

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somehow related:
Glock is protesting the Army's choice of Sig Sauer for its new handgun
Firearms manufacturer Glock has filed a protest with the government over the Army's award of a new pistol contract to competitor Sig Sauer, according to
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with the Government Accountability Office on Friday.

The move puts the Army's plans to begin testing its XM17 Modular Handgun System on hold until the complaint is resolved.

The Army announced in January that it would replace the M9 Beretta, soldiers' sidearm for more than 30 years, with a modified Sig Sauer P320.

Sig Sauer released the P320 in 2014; it is a polymer striker-fired pistol that has interchangeable grip modules that can also be adjusted in frame size and caliber by the user. And while the weapon can be adapted to shoot 9mm, .357 SIG and .40 S&W ammunition, the Army is opting to stick with the 9mm.

The service first announced the competition for the new pistol back in 2011. Sig Sauer beat out Glock as well as Smith & Wesson for the up-to-$580 million contract, which includes weapons, accessories and ammunition to be delivered over a period of 10 years.

The Army has until June 5 to respond to Glock's complaint, according to the GAO website.
source is ArmyTimes
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yet another criticism of the budget proposal ...
Trump to Congress: Give Pentagon $54B. I’ll Tell You Why Later
The roughly 10% boost would come out of nearly every other federal agency’s 2018 budget, including foreign aid.

The Trump administration will require $54 billion in cuts at non-national security federal agencies in its preliminary fiscal 2018 budget proposal, an Office of Management and Budget official said Monday. Nearly every domestic agency will shoulder a share of the reductions.

The spending decreases will offset an equal increase in spending at the Defense Department, which the official said will primarily be given to the Pentagon to spend as it sees fit. The proposed boost, which still must go through the congressional appropriations process, would represent about a 10 percent increase to the Defense budget. The White House will propose that foreign aid be cut to partially offset the new spending.

The OMB official called the forthcoming blueprint, which the White House will release in March, a “security budget” that will put America first. It will focus only on top-line allocations to major agencies, with a full budget coming later in the year. It will give direction exclusively on discretionary spending, with any proposals on mandatory spending also coming later. Overall, the cuts represent about a 10 percent decrease to non-Defense discretionary spending.

The White House will look to identify areas of unauthorized spending, the official said, which will “inform the back and forth” with agencies. The increase in security spending will lead to cuts at “lower priority programs.” The official declined to elaborate on what agencies will be most affected by the cuts, saying only that “most agencies will see a reduction.”

It was also unclear how a spending surge at the Homeland Security Department to pay for Trump’s proposed border wall and hiring surge at immigration enforcement agencies will factor into the budget outlook. The Trump administration will expect the “rest of the world to step up” to fund aid programs the United States had previously supported, the OMB official said.

Agencies will receive a directive from OMB at noon on Monday to begin working on proposals under the new constraints.
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Tyrant King
Jan 21, 2017
somehow related:
Glock is protesting the Army's choice of Sig Sauer for its new handgun

source is ArmyTimes
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Glock was hoping for this contract but Sig under bid and has an edge.
The M17 is a holy grail contract, as The US Army is the biggest buyer of small arms in the US services. If it buys others buy like the recent ICE buy of P320's right after the Army buy.
Also If the US army buys it's not long before the other less small arms picky USN and USAF skim off the Army orders.And this is not limited to the US Other US Allies tend to order using US buys as a point of reference. So For Gock this was a major loss.
for Sig this is a long term windfall. Sig won by it's offerings and will make it's money off accessories and support. The new handgun will use a Sig Suppressor, Sig Holster, Sig Light and laser aimer. Sig sights. Sig is not just selling the gun they are selling the whole package.

Additionally Despite Glock "Prefection" the Glock is actually fairly unimpressive as a package. The stock Glock pistol has a terrible trigger, the "Iron" ( they are actually polymer) sights are usable but lackluster at best, Quality control has issues, The Polymer Frame directly attached to the slide so you have friction wear on the frame and if the frame is damaged you basically write off the pistol where the Sig's "Frame" is just a replaceable shell. The Glock Accessory rail is unique to Glock where the Industry standard is the Mil STD M1913 rail interface Due to the shear number of Glocks this has not been an issue.
Ergonomics are of a Brick. the FBI recently asked Glock to remove the finger grooves from there Gen IV's because they were making it hard for smaller users. They do officer Holsters and tactical lights and lasers but no suppressors. most hard core glock shooters costomize there pistols with custom triggers. Glock have been so dominant mostly because of their Ubiquitousness. It's like the AKM or The Toyota Corolla It's an absolutely No Frills get the job done machine around which a Cottage industry of makers has emerged to "Frill" the no frills machine. For example the Claim that Glocks Shoot under water is due to a special spring set added after market.