WASHINGTON: Every senior civilian leader and the Navy agree that America needs replacements for the Ohio-class nuclear missile submarines if our nuclear deterrent is to remain credible. But the SSBN-X, as the program is known, is at risk from the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration, the influential head of CAPE, the Pentagon’s budget and cost estimation shop, Christine Fox, said yesterday evening.

CAPE, known formally as the office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, not only does program evaluation for the Defense Secretary but it also builds the Future Year Defense Program (FYDP), a key part of the defense budget process. I asked Fox at the end of the McAleese Associates/Credit Suisse conference what the Pentagon can do to protect new starts if sequestration remains in force and it must cut such large amounts from existing programs. Keep reading →