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The Army Budget fiscal year 2012 an analysis

September 15, 2011

As I write this letter, I am reflecting on the fact that ten years have passed since the cowardly attacks of 11 September 2001. For ten years, this nation has experienced continuous war, and for ten years thousands of Americans have volunteered to join the fight. For ten years, more than 100,000 Reservists have stepped forward. For ten years, thousands of Army civilians have also deployed to those theaters to support America’s Soldiers. For the past ten years—as for the 226 years that came before—America’s Army has fulfilled its commitment to its fellow Americans.

America’s Soldiers continue the fight in some of the most difficult places in the world. They are training local forces and working with local citizens to make positive change in their lives. Our Soldiers are making progress in the Army’s mission to defeat terrorism—yet the international environment is perhaps more threatening, complex and uncertain than at the beginning of the century. At the same time, America’s Army has made great strides to reset the force and provide the nation with a flexible force for the 21st century.

At home, America is facing a very difficult economic situation. Since 2002 the federal government has racked up annual deficits and a growing national debt. Today, the debt is almost equal to the annual national economy. Many of our fellow citizens are dealing with the highest continuing rate of unemployment since the Great Depression. Americans are divided about how to rein in the deficits—and some Americans are looking to the Department of Defense and the Army for cost avoidance or budget cuts. The current economic situation is aggravated by the inability of our elected officials to arrive at a shared plan, as evidenced by the passing of continuing resolutions rather than real budgets.

At home, America is facing a very difficult economic situation. Since 2002 the federal government has racked up annual deficits and a growing national debt. Today, the debt is almost equal to the annual national economy. Many of our fellow citizens are dealing with the highest continuing rate of unemployment since the Great Depression. Americans are divided about how to rein in the deficits—and some Americans are looking to the Department of Defense and the Army for cost avoidance or budget cuts. The current economic situation is aggravated by the inability of our elected officials to arrive at a shared plan, as evidenced by the passing of continuing resolutions rather than real budgets.

In the past ten years, Americans, individually and through their elected officials, have kept their promise to provide the very best materiel and equipment, the best training, the best support to Soldiers and their families and the best care for wounded warriors. America needs to continue to honor its obligation to provide adequate numbers of Soldiers and the best for those Soldiers—to provide essentials to protect those who serve. America’s Army needs to meet its duty to the nation, to provide the best national security and to act as stewards of the public trust. Doing so in a manner the United States can afford requires prioritizing and balancing, which is difficult to do, but America’s Army has always stepped up to the challenges. As President Obama observed at the American Legion convention on 30 August 2011, “America’s military is the best that it’s ever been.”

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 2012 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.