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.
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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.