Regarding an article yesterday on the 1991 military budget, an Army spokesman said yesterday that the Army on June 13 announced plans to deactivate the 2nd Armored Division, one of two divisions stationed at Fort Hood, Tex., and does not object to plans to partially close the base. (Published 9/8/90)

New Defense Department estimates circulated in Congress this week suggest that the bill for Operation Desert Shield in fiscal 1991 will total $11.3 billion, an amount that would more than wipe out all the various proposed defense cuts now on the legislative table unless U.S. allies pick up some of the tab.

"The cost of the gulf operation is going to be a real sleeper in all this," said one congressional source, who noted that the latest "preliminary" estimates assume that there will be no shooting war.

The estimates were sent to committees involved in preparing the congressional position for budget summit talks with the White House this weekend. However, sources on several key defense committees said the panels have not received details necessary to evaluate whether Pentagon numbers include expenditures that might have been made even without the Persian Gulf crisis.

Even with allied contributions to the U.S. effort in the gulf, administration officials made clear yesterday that they want to use the crisis to try to roll back some of the cuts contained in defense bills now moving through Congress.

A senior administration official traveling with President Bush said yesterday that Democrats "can't sustain those deep cuts in defense when our young men and women are defending America in the sands of Saudi Arabia."

If they continued to press for them, the official said, "We'll embarrass them politically, I can assure you. They just can't sustain the political pressure we'd put on, and they know that."

However, House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) said the operations in the gulf should be treated as an "emergency condition {rather} than regular planning for the future. . . . This isn't something we are ready to assume as a permanent condition of American commitment."

Included in the Desert Shield costs is $1.8 billion in new military construction funds, presumably to build mess halls and other troop facilities in Saudi Arabia. The remainder of the funds would finance the call-up of reservists, purchase of spare parts, desert camouflage and chemical warfare uniforms, fuel, medical supplies, cost of the airlift and sealift and increases in fuel prices associated with the recent hike in gasoline prices.

The $11.3 billion figure represents the amount the Defense Department thinks it will have to lay out in cash in fiscal 1991 to pay bills as they come due.

It makes up the lion's share of the estimated $15 billion in new obligations that the Pentagon will incur in 1991 as a result of the huge operation.

It is also the key figure for congressional and administration budget negotiators, because it directly affects the size of the 1991 federal deficit.

Bush's original defense budget envisioned outlays of $304.6 billion, but the budget office later indicated a willingness to cut that by $4 billion. Still deeper outlay cuts from the original budget were contained in pre-crisis defense measures offered by the Senate Armed Services Committee (minus $6.9 billion), House Armed Services Committee (minus $8.5 billion) and the Senate Budget Committee (minus $9.9 billion).

The House is scheduled Tuesday to take up the 1991 defense authorization bill, which was drafted before the gulf trouble erupted. Some congressional sources said they expect lobbyists for the armed forces and defense industry to use the crisis to try to stall a fundamental shift in long-term priorities. Senate and House defense authorization bills for 1991 envision cuts in weapons procurement and active-duty force levels.

The House bill, for example, calls for reducing Army active personnel in fiscal 1991 by 68,500, compared with Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney's preference for a cut of only 16,669. Army officials have made no secret that they are unhappy with the depth of the cuts sought by Congress.

As a result of Desert Shield, which is estimated to cost $2.5 billion this fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the Army last month put on hold the planned deactivation of a 1,500-man brigade of the 2nd Armored Division at Ford Hood, Tex. At the same time, the Army alerted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 2nd Armored Division, also at Fort Hood, for service in the gulf. The units are moving equipment to ports and making preparations to board ships.

Fort Hood has been a leading candidate for at least partial closure under Defense Department budget-cutting plans. But the Army has objected, and the crisis is sure to give congressional backers of the base new ammunition.

At the same time, it is unlikely that Congress, which supports a big buildup of military construction in the United States in 1991, will agree to reallocate that money to base-building in Saudi Arabia.

Staff writers Ann Devroy and John E. Yang contributed to this report.