The Army Budget Fiscal Year 2011: An Analysis

October 15, 2010

The U.S. Army continues its engagements in a multifaceted battle; Soldiers are in combat in Afghanistan, on the ground in Iraq and stationed elsewhere throughout the world. Domestically, Army leaders must ensure that U.S. servicemembers have sufficient resources to uphold and strengthen our national security. To maintain its status as the best fighting force in the world, the Army must have the best equipment, technology and, most important, personnel—all of which requires full funding from the federal government.

With federal budget cuts necessary and expected in coming years, the Army must examine how best to prepare for Department of Defense budget cuts without compromising the safety of the country. This year Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced plans to cut the Defense Budget by $100 billion over the next five years. In an attempt to reassure Americans that these cuts would not be prioritized over national safety, Gates made clear that “the task before us is not to reduce the [Defense] department’s top-line budget. Rather, it is to significantly reduce its excess overhead costs and apply the savings to force structure and modernization.” However, to execute current operations, reset our forces while maintaining a high operational tempo, and develop future capabilities to sustain the highest-quality force, timely, predictable and comprehensive funding is crucial.

The size of the Army, and indeed the defense force as a whole, must be sufficient to accomplish our national security goals; the active Army must be at least 700,000 Soldiers strong, and defense spending must be at least 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. In addition, the radically changed role of the reserve component (National Guard and Reserve) must result in redesigned structures, pay and benefits (including retirement) that reflect the way that component of the U.S. armed forces is now used.

Fiscal Year 2011 Army Budget—An Analysis details the resources required for the Army to accomplish its missions today and tomorrow. It examines the Army’s proposed budget in the context of the federal and Department of Defense budgets and breaks down requests—from Soldiers’ pay to research and development—according to funding authority and programs. The analysis explains budget terminology and procedures, including the overseas contingency operations funding process that is necessary for the Army to sustain the current level of operations and provide for Soldiers and their families.

The Association of the United States Army fully supports the Army—active Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Army civilians and the families and communities who stand behind them all—as it faces its many challenges. Fiscal Year 2011 Army Budget—An Analysis is just one of many ways we speak out on issues important to the American Soldier, American landpower and the security of the nation and the world.