U.S. Army National Guard Budgeting Thesis

Pages: 5 (1777 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Military

Army Budget

Army National Guard Budgeting and its Importance

The interaction between Congress and military is one of the prime vehicles for foreign policy, particularly in our current time of ongoing and uncertain conflict. The importance of the interdependent role played by Congress and the military is on clear display in a consideration of current conditions. Perhaps the most important and determinant impact which Congress has on the military role in foreign affairs is in its oversight of budgetary matters. It has long been the charge of the Congress to shape budgetary bills which are generally proposed by the executive branch. In the case of the military, the executive branch tends to be represented in terms of, if not party, policy orientation. This is because the Secretary of Defense, who is head to the defensive structure based in the Pentagon (often itself used as a term to describe the entire Department of Defense [DoD]), is appointed by the president. The president will typically select one with similar political aspirations within the context of a current policy outlook. Thus, in the matters of National defense budgeting, the Secretary of Defense will propose a budget that is likely to be endorsed by the executive branch, which must ultimately give it the final signature to pass into law.

2. Review:

It is the province of Congress to receive this bill, which is separately debated in both houses of the legislature, and will often there within endure a great many session debates, committee-based investigatory research and amendment. This is the process by which Congress ultimately comes to create a final version of the budget which is scaled according to the compromise and consensus reached through the reflective process. A useful example of the role played by Congress in this process from a formative level was illustrated in recent years under former President George W. Bush. At this juncture, members of the House of Representatives began the push for the military to reign in its streamlined approach to spending, which had largely reduced accountability and budgetary restraint. Accordingly, "a bipartisan House panel [was] nudging the Pentagon to begin a conversation on how to reform itself in many ways. But at the Pentagon, talk of change usually has a budgetary impact. And, despite the past several years of 'nation-building' and counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been virtually no change in the way the defense budget is carved up in at least 40 years, says Rep. Jim Cooper (D) of Tennessee, who chairs the panel." (Lubold, 1)

Namely, Congress would here be engaged in discussion on the absence of nuance in budgetary distribution betwixt the armed forces, denoting that in spite of the likelihood that the nature of the conflict in Iraq, for instance, has promoted heavier costs and casualties in one branch vs. another, all branches remain equally funded. A unique cost relating to budgeting this war would be based on a shortage of manpower and the resultant need to send National Guardsmen to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq even as this remained a critically underfunded aspect of our armed forces. To the point, of the proposed 2009 fiscal budget's $515 billion allotment to the military, the spoils were divided almost totally equally between the Air Force (28%), the Army (27%) and the Navy/Marines (29%). (Lubold, 1) The debate cited here above in Congress highlights the determinant role which Congress is able to play not just in the distribution of resources but in the policy implications that are shaped by budgetary matters. Namely, in this instance there is considerable reason to believe that the issue cited by the debates is correlated negatively to the situations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, where a shortage of the needed physical resources would be a consistent and troubling complaint for ground forces. Simultaneously, dispatching National Guardsmen to foreign theatres would critically reduce available forced in the face of such domestic challenges as Hurricane Katrina.

Throughout the War in Iraq, Congress has a key role in reversing both military and related foreign policy approaches which have proven deeply flawed. Testimonies to Congress have illustrated such flaws to the public and to leaders in the political opposition to the initial onset of the war. We can see this in the extremely contentious atmosphere which defines Congressional attention to distinctly military-based budgetary issues.

In the broader War on Terror, for instance, there had been a clear indication that Congress would see much infighting based on the premises of the ongoing and conceptually unique war. For instance, the often emotionally charged and divisive issue of the treatment of 'enemy combatants,' 'terror suspects' and 'detainees' during the war has gathered a great deal of attention from the American public, the global community and various civil liberties and human rights groups. Therefore, Congress would take on the responsibility of establishing conditions respective to the approach for this military-based foreign policy. Therefore, the debate has approached Congress repeatedly, and most notably in 2006. At that juncture, "House Republicans signaled a coming clash with the Senate over the future of military tribunals yesterday when Armed Service Committee members indicated they were inclined to give the Bush administration largely what it wants in the conduct of terrorism trials." (Weisman, 1) The outcome would be the use of budgetary oversight to attempt to control war-time policy. Congressmen opposed to the behavior of the Bush Administration viewed budget negotiations as a forum for the critique of war priorities and practices. Simultaneously, the Bush Administration would use the negotiations to accuse Democrats of politicizing the budgetary needs of American troops.

3. Analysis:

Indeed, Congress, and in particular such vitally powerful committees as the House Ways and Means Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Council on Foreign Policy is a forum through which our military commanders report to the public on efforts, progress, shortcomings and needs while engaged at war. In the case of Iraq, which has been a policy and military quagmire, I would argue that this has been a crucial way for Americans to exercise their freedom to information concerning spending of their budgetary resources. The centrality of such key interactions in defining our military policy can be denoted by one such report in a hearing before Congress in the early part of 2008.

Here, Major Crocker (2008) reports that "as Iraq emerges from the shattering violence of 2006 and the early part of 2007, there is reason to sustain that commitment and the enormous investments we have made both in the lives of our young brave men and women and our resources. Let me describe the developments upon which I base such a judgment." (Crocker, 1) He would proceed to offer an assessment of the war effort which would include explanations of its status in terms of achieving primary objectives and such factors as they relate to budgetary resources which had already been utilized and budgetary resources which were being requested. In one respect, this helps to point to some of the pros of the structure by which Congress controls military spending.

Namely, Congress serves as a forum for examination, debate and alteration of budgetary legislation. As a result, it also functions as a way to cast rhetorical light on elements of a policy which are unacceptable or in need of redirection. This means that Congress has the capacity to address military failures both through debate over defense spending bills and the ultimate decisions which are connected to a passed budget and its specified allocations. The nature of the Congressional role in making such allocations as they effect the National Guard allows for an open discussion on the needs produced in changing domestic security contexts, the balance of resources for this corps as opposed to those more traditionally involved in foreign combat and a consideration of the economic needs dictated by differing domestic tasks.

These benefits are balanced though by the relative inefficiency of Congress in the face of the many political, economic and lobby-based pressures that are incumbent upon the institution. The result is a ripple effect which has genuine consequences for America's military policy and objectives.

As noted with the above-referenced account by Crocker, the testimonies offered by the high-ranking military personnel fighting the war on terror have become something of a referendum on the war in recent years, as Congress has turned over its political orientation in recent election cycles. Cast in the glaring faults of Hurricane Katrina's management, the shortage of compensation in terms of National Guard resources would be one of the most critical failures of the War. The result is in my estimation revealing demonstration of the impact of political modes on Congressional actions relating to the military. The unpopularity and relative failures of the War in Iraq and their resultant weakening of domestic security have caused such electoral turnover, helping to sweep the democrats into office over the Republicans responsible for current war policy in Obama's historically 2008 election. Here, we can begin to see that there is a… [END OF PREVIEW]

Four Different Ordering Options:

?

Compare the Four Ordering Options

  1. 1.Buy this paper with your credit card or cash balance at PayPal.  Within 10 hours, we'll send the Microsoft Word file to the email address on your PayPal account.
  2. 2.Same as #1, but we will also remove the paper from our site for 30 days!
  3. 3.Need this paper immediately?  Want to individually download any of our 175,000+ exclusive, private, non-plagiarized papers for 30 days?  It takes only 2 minutes to subscribe and get instant access!
  4. 4.One of our highly experienced experts will write a brand new, 100% unique paper matching the exact specifications and topic that you provide!  You'll be the only person on the planet to receive the one-of-a-kind paper that we write for you!  Use code "Save10" to save 10% on your 1st order!

1.  Buy the full, 5-page paper:  $24.68

or

2.  Buy & remove for 30 days:  $38.47

or

3.  Monthly access to 175,000 papers

After paying, this link will download any paper(s).

or

4.  Let us write a NEW paper for you!

Ask Us to Write a New Paper
Most popular!

United States Army Do to Improve Term Paper


United States Department of Defense US Military Branches Research Paper


Incorporating Knowledge Management in Organization Essay


Foreign and Domestic Intelligence Term Paper


American Foreign Policy Analysis of the Middle East From the President's Perspective Essay


View 64 other related papers  >>

Cite This Thesis:

APA Format

U.S. Army National Guard Budgeting.  (2010, January 27).  Retrieved December 10, 2018, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/us-army-national-guard-budgeting/7294632

MLA Format

"U.S. Army National Guard Budgeting."  27 January 2010.  Web.  10 December 2018. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/us-army-national-guard-budgeting/7294632>.

Chicago Format

"U.S. Army National Guard Budgeting."  Essaytown.com.  January 27, 2010.  Accessed December 10, 2018.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/us-army-national-guard-budgeting/7294632.