Military IT cuts almost complete

Congress set to approve reductions in comms, military technology, as requested by Bush.

Where is the money coming from for President Bush's border security proposals? From military tech, reports Federal Computer Week. A May 17 letter from Bush to Congress requests spending cuts across the military services, including many communications and tech systems.

The administration is “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” said Michelle Flournoy, a senior adviser in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “When you start trading off a top priority against a top priority, that represents a serious problem.”

The cuts have been approved by a joint conference committee. The next step is a vote in both houses of Congress.

Information technology funding is already scarce, said Trey Hodgkins, director of defense programs at the IT Association of America. IT budgets have remained static in recent years amid surges in funding for the rest of the military. However, military IT activities have increased steadily in the same time period as branches learn to do more with less, he said.

“We believe that these moves are extremely short-sighted and will be counterproductive to the goal of making the [Defense] Department and the [military] services more nimble to threats abroad and at home, while taking on more responsibility and new roles as a responder for natural disasters,” ITAA officials wrote.

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