Hello, I am a long-time lurker and I feel like I needed to comment. First let me introduce myself. I am a Hill Staffer and have done a lot of work on the Senate Armed Services Committee going back several years. Not surprisingly, I've seen a lot of complaints about budget cuts on this site and other sites I peruse as part of my work to monitor the pulse of individuals involved in the military. I just wanted to provided some context on the cuts , but first start with some background on where a lot of the bitter feelings come from. During the Bush years, many staffers and members on our side of the aisle (Dems) were concerned and upset with the testimony and information we were getting from the Uniformed Services about the status of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and reasonable assessments on the likelihood of success or cost of the effort, both during the run-up and after the wars commenced. Likewise, when we were getting reports about proselytizing in the military, we felt the military wasn't being honest about the depth of the scandal and was outright endorsing it. That sense of bitterness increased after 2008. www dot politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/obama-vs-the-generals-99379.htmlI reccomend this article on the topic or Obama's Wars by Woodward for an older account. The military boxed in POTUS on Afghanistan by manipulating the political process and leaking recommendations for troop levels to the press. Likewise, when the military wasn't eager to get involved in Libya or Syria murmurs were leaked to the press. Some of us wondered where was such clairvoyance or reticence to get involved in foreign missions when the prior Administration was selling the Iraqi invasion. And let's just say when McChystal went on his little rant, many people wanted to hang him. For some of us, it wasn't a matter of when this was going to happen, not if As you can suspect , when the Tea Party was elected to Congress in 2010, no one was too enthused. We all know the Republicans were going to take back the House, but this "movement" irked many of us. A lot of us shared the viewpoint, that if the American people vote these people get in, they deserve what they are going to get. As you know the Tea Partiers started to obsess over the deficit even though we were in a recession and most economists do not recommend cutting spending when the economy is soft, and the two combined budget shutdowns led to the initial cuts and the "sequester" cuts. We on our side are not fans of these cuts and how they are administered, but at the same time don't feel it's our fault. You got the Congress you voted for, that demanded budget cuts, and elections have consequences. As you are all aware, the officer corps is strongly Republican. One last thing, I think it would be important to have some perspective on the size of the DoD. In 2001, the DoD budget was about 300 billion. By 2011, that budget was 660 billion. No other department got that kind of boost in the prior Administration. Quite frankly, when you voted in a bunch of "(hypocritical) deficit warriors" did you really think the DoD would be given a pass? To the extent that deficit reduction is going to be the name of the game over the next couple of years, I would expect for the military to be scaled back and new R&D projects to be deferred or canceled. To put it bluntly, give Americans the choice between Social Security, health care, or education and the military, the former is going to win every time when there's a debate on what's going to be on the chopping block. There's a lot of Americans, I believe the majority , who is not happy with the neoconservative agenda so I would expect a lean military budget to to be the name of the game for the foreseeable future.