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No Defense Appropriations Bill— What That Means for the Soldier and the Army

August 6, 2006

Timely defense appropriations and authorization bills, along with bills for needed military construction, are essential for the U.S. Army to provide the necessary forces and capabilities to U.S. combatant commanders in support of the National Security and Defense Strategies. For the foreseeable future, the United States must be capable of, and prepared to, prosecute a wide variety of operations—from a global war on terrorism to high-intensity conflicts. The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review calls for the Army to maintain 70 brigade combat teams—18 of them ready to go at any time and another 18 sufficiently prepared to surge almost immediately after the first 18. The frequently-delayed appropriations stream, which continues to function in unpredictable spurts, impacts the Army’s ability to accomplish its mission.