US military chief urges Pentagon to bring spending under control
Financial Times, 15 September 2010


"The Pentagon must take prompt action to bring its spending under control to avoid the 'drastic' defence cuts afflicting the UK and Germany, according to Mike Mullen, the most senior US military official.... The US defence budget in the next fiscal year is $567bn (364bn), excluding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Admiral Mullen raised concerns about the culture of spending in Congress, which often authorises higher budgets than the Pentagon has requested. He cited this year's Pentagon pay request, asking for a 1.4 per cent increase. Congress looks likely to award military personel a 1.9 per cent rise. 'I think that is a wonderful example - that additional half a per cent comes to over $5bn over the next four or five years, ' he said. 'We have to make the case to Congress [to change the way it authorises defence budgets]."
US military chief urges Pentagon to bring spending under control
Financial Times, 15 September 2010


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"The US must find $100bn of savings in military spending or risk the kind of cuts being faced in the UK, Admiral Mike Mullen has said. Mullen, the most senior official in the US military, told the Financial Times that the most significant national security threat faced by the US was the rising national deficit. He said that the Pentagon needs to get its spending under control. He said: 'If we do not figure out how to manage ourselves inside this growing challenge, then I do worry that it won't be too long before those kinds of cuts will be part of our future as well.' Part of the problem Mullen identified was the way that Congress authorises defence budgets, regularly resulting in the Pentagon receiving more money than it has asked for."
US must 'control' defence spending
Defence Management, 15 September 2010

"The Pentagon's budget, by far the largest of any military in the world, amounts to some 700 billion dollars per year. Strained by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the budget has doubled since 2001 and accounts for more than 40 percent of total global military spending. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned in August that the US military must tighten its belt to sustain and modernize US forces, and end the 'culture of endless money' that has pervaded for years in the Pentagon. US Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said Monday that the military would continue its program to build a new long-range bomber, but would adopt a 'cautious' approach to avoid excessively high costs. Mullen, who in May urged Congress to scrap funding for a second engine for the F-35 fighter jet, described the sharply rising US debt as the worst threat to American national security. It was vital that officials in the Pentagon 'recognize that we (account for) about 50 percent of the discretionary spending that's available in this government,' Mullen said."
Mullen says time for fiscal prudence at Pentagon: report
Agence France Presse, 15 September 2010