WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel, with his first budget plan as US defense secretary, has managed to do the unthinkable: He has united Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.
In short, they hate it.
Limited by spending caps erected by Congress, Hagel's budget proposes large cuts to America's ground combat forces, a number of controversial troop-benefits changes, retiring aircraft fleets and a round of politically white-hot base closures.
Gordon Adams, a former national defense budget official in the Clinton administration, said "that $26 billion package isn't going anywhere in the House.
"You'll see a big battle if the White House wants to have this so-called ‘investment fund,' " Adams said, using the Pentagon's preferred phrase. "The Republicans in the House will never go for it. ... This is not a serious proposal, but it's not the DoD's fault. The White House is driving the train on this, and the Pentagon is merrily going along with it.