Pentagon Wish List

I saw this article in Bloomberg News  on the Pentagon Wish List this morning.  In my days in the Pentagon we always had an unfunded list to share with the Hill.  Inevitably, the day after the President’s Budget was submitted the Hill was asking for the list.  Back then we didn’t share with OSD.  It was all part of the strategy.  There was the regular budget submission (those things that everyone wanted), the Gold Watch list (things we left out but were sure to be included  in law because of Hill support) and the Unfunded list (those things we really wanted but OSD didn’t want us to have).  It was quite a complicated process to get the budget submitted without offending someone!!  Looks like OSD has taken control. I wonder if the Services might have a “secret” wish list?????

Pentagon to Outline How It Would Spend an Additional $26 Billion

By Tony Capaccio January 27, 2014

The Pentagon’s budget plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 will outline how it would spend an additional $26 billion if Congress could find the money, according to U.S. officials.

The White House Office of Management and Budget last week directed the Pentagon to produce the what-if list as part of an “investment fund” it would include when President Barack Obama’s proposed budget is submitted to Congress on March 4.

The Pentagon would present the fund to demonstrate its priorities if more money were added to what was allocated in last month’s congressional budget deal, one of the officials said. The wish list could include weapons, base maintenance, projects to improve readiness or research programs, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified in advance of the budget release.

The White House will say in its budget presentation that the additional money would be offset by cuts in mandatory domestic spending and revenue increases, the officials said.

The “investment fund” is similar to the “unfunded priorities lists” the military services would submit to the House Armed Services Committee for years until then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates discouraged the practice.

The fiscal 2015 total for base defense spending, excluding war operations, is about $498 billion, about $43 billion less than the total projected by the Pentagon last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Walcott at


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