Leadership: February 6, 2003

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The U.S. Army is still having budget problems, and the major problem is more work from the war on terrorism. Congress, however, hasn't come through with the money to pay for this. The 2004 budget of $93.9 billion is only three billion dollars larger than the previous years. In it's 2004 budget, the army is cutting $1.6 billion in projects. In addition to dropping the Crusader self-propelled artillery vehicle, upgrades for the M-1 tank and M-2 infantry vehicle are being cut. This isn't enough to pay for continuing army work in Afghanistan (over a billion dollars a month) and the Persian Gulf (over a billion bucks just to get the troops there). Congress knows it can take care of these extra costs with additional ("supplemental") legislation for more money. But this additional money often isn't enough and the army has to make other cuts. Training, developing new equipment and maintenance usually get hit the worst. Meanwhile, the army has to come up with the money for a Congressionally mandated pay raise. Some 40 percent of the army budget is for personnel costs. To cover all it's new jobs, the army has to increase its strength by 8,000 troops. 


 


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