Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Analysis of SASC Action on the FY08 Defense Authorization Bill

The Center’s Chris Hellman and Travis Sharp released their Analysis of Senate Armed Services Committee Action on the FY 2008 Defense Authorization bill (S. 1547) today.

Included below are some highlights relating to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation issues.

Missile Defense in Europe – Cuts $85 million from the Administration’s $310.4 million request for the proposed deployment of a Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) missile defense system in Europe. Limits the availability of authorized funding until two conditions have been met: 1) approval is given by the countries in which missile defense components are to be located; and 2) 45 days have elapsed since Congress receives a report from the Secretary of Defense on the proposed deployment. [Note: The funding for the GMD system in Europe is part of the Administration’s larger request of $10.1 billion for Ballistic Missile Defense, which the Committee cut $231 million.]

Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW) – For RRW funding in the Department of Energy, the bill cuts $43 million from the Administration’s $238.1 million RRW request, limits the funding that can be used for RRW in FY2008 to $195.1 million, and limits RRW program activities to Phase 2A and below. The Committee also zeroed out the Administration’s $15 million RRW request for Navy research and development.

DoD Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) [“Nunn-Lugar”] – Adds $100 million to the Administration’s $348 million request for CTR for states of the former Soviet Union.

DoE Nonproliferation Programs – Adds $87 million to DoE nonproliferation programs. Included in the $87 million increase are $50.0 million for next generation nuclear detection technologies, the nuclear explosion monitoring program, and technologies to support improved nuclear material forensic capabilities; $14.0 million to accelerate shutdown of the plutonium producing reactor at Zheleznogorsk, Russia; $10.0 million for the second line of defense core program; $8.0 million for global initiatives for proliferation prevention; and $5.0 million for international regimes including technical assistance to IAEA for enhanced safeguards activities.

The SASC markup also contains a number of key policy provisions, including:

Space Posture Review – Directs the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence to conduct a comprehensive review of the space posture of the U.S. The review would cover a 10-year period beginning February 1, 2009 and the report would be due on December 1, 2009.

Nuclear Posture Review – Directs the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy to conduct a review of the nuclear posture of the United States for the next 5 to 10 years. The new nuclear posture review (NPR) would be submitted to Congress in December 2009.

Policy Report on Iran – Prohibits the Secretary of Defense from obligating more than 75 percent of the funds available for FY2008 to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy until the report on United States policy for Iran, mandated by the FY2007 Defense Authorization bill, is submitted to Congress.

If you’re interested in more information on SASC’s markup of the FY 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, including funding levels for other defense-related programs and the ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the complete analysis by Hellman and Sharp can be found here.

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