Syria Decision Could Alter U.S. Budget Trajectory

By Michael Bruno
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
September 09, 2013

Like a live grenade thrown into a munitions storage room, a vote in Congress on President Barack Obama's proposal for limited U.S. military strikes on Syria's dictatorial regime is quickly gaining the potential to reshape the budget-battle-scarred landscape of U.S. defense and intelligence decision-making, possibly for years to come.

The catch: No matter how lawmakers vote, the fact the debate is taking place on Capitol Hill as the federal government races toward the beginning of fiscal 2014 on Oct. 1 and its all-but-certain budget constraints is forcing many in Congress to confront the implications of recent deficit-fighting decisions and indecisions faster than most expected. While the results are far from clear, the Syria issue's interplay with another round of automatic sequestration budget cuts due under the 2011 Budget Control Act's spending caps has opened up outcomes that affect aerospace and defense in ways that were until recently, unimaginable.

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