President Barack Obama is losing some of the control over the defense budget that his administration clawed away from top military commanders early in his presidency, with the service chiefs and Congress once again openly conspiring to undo tough spending decisions made by the White House and the Pentagon.
Added Gordon Adams, a defense budget official in the Clinton administration who now teaches at American University: “This says to me there’s a breakdown in budget discipline in the building.”
Hagel has done little to rein in the service chiefs, Adams said, with top military commanders campaigning publicly for Pentagon spending above the levels approved by the White House. “The services have had the illusion for the past few years that all this budget control stuff was temporary,” he said.
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