Saturday, March 11, 2017

The U.S. Military Budget Debate is Now Heating Up

Defense Secretary James Mattis meets with Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work; Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon.

John McCormack, Weekly Standard: Which Side Is Gen. Mattis On?

The military budget debate heats up.

A debate over the military's budget is emerging between defense hawks on Capitol Hill and fiscal hawks in the Trump administration. The fiscal hawks, chief among them Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, want the next annual defense budget set at $603 billion, a 3 percent increase from the last Obama budget request. The defense hawks say that after years of budget caps and cuts known as sequestration, a 3 percent hike won't accomplish President Trump's directive to "rebuild" the military.

As a 16-page letter signed by Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas and almost every other Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee puts it, the level of funding outlined by the White House "would unintentionally lock in a slow fix to readiness, consistent with the Obama Administration's previous position, from which we would not be able to dig out." These House members concluded in their letter that a 10 percent increase (to $640 billion) is necessary to support a strategy—including troop levels and readiness, ships, planes, munitions, facilities, nuclear forces, and more—that addresses the threats we face.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Defense Secretary James Mattis is lucky .... he is facing a Congress and White House that wants to increase the defense budget .... and they trust him to guide them on what is needed. Let's hope that he does not screw it up.


Anonymous said...

There are areas where funding should increase and there are areas that should be slashed. It will take a deft hand to get it right.

B.Poster said...


You are right. Unfortunately, at this time, there does not appear to be a "deft hand" at work. For example, cutting the coast guard but not cutting the F-35 seems like an extremely bad idea. Everyone has their own ideas and reasonable people can and do disagree on many things.

B.Poster said...

The United States military is badly depleted from continuous operations all around the world for the last 15+ years. Obviously some money is going to need to be spent on it to bring it to a capable fighting force. How much to spend and where to spend it is a debate that needs to be had and reasonable people can and will disagree in some areas on where to spend and how much.

Unfortunately the way we tend to analyze military spending is not entirely helpful. How much money a nation spends on it's military is a bit like "time of possession" in American football. while this statistic is not unimportant by any means, experts at American football have often called it "the least important statistic." The same applies to military spending. While not unimportant, it is the least important statistic when measuring military capability or comparing the military capability of one country to another. As such, it should not receive the attention it does.

Now, IF the United States is going to increase military spending, steps will need to be taken to eliminate the graft and waste that is prevalent throughout the US government. Otherwise we are just throwing good money after bad and will end up in even worse shape than we are in. To do such, is to do a disservice to the honorable and brave men and women who are serving in our armed forces to defend our nation and it places Americans in even more danger than they are already in.

When determining where to spend money and how much to spend, we need a proper analysis of the threats facing the United States. The main threats facing the United States in order of the most dangerous threats are as follows. 1.)An all out nuclear attack by Russia against the United States by Russia when combined with America's aging nuclear arsenal, Russian cyber attacks, the substandard training, and the low morale of the forces responsible for America's nuclear arsenal may make an American response problematic. 2.) An attack by Islamic terrorists against the US mainland involving the use of multiple "dirty bombs" along with multiple suitcase nuclear weapons detonated simultaneously across multiple metropolitan areas. 3.)An invasion of the US mainland by Russia, China, Russia and China, or Russia, China, and some combination of their allies.

While scenario 1 is the most dangerous and, as such, should be the top priority among military planners, scenario 2 is more likely to occur. Now that the major threats to US national security have been properly identified along with the risk and the likelihood of occurring, we can then begin to decide how to position our forces, how to allocate our limited resources, and how much of our limited resources we are going to spend.