November 08, 2018

Pentagon braces for leaner Mideast war budget after Democrats win House

Featuring Susanna V. Blume

Source: Al-Monitor

Journalist Jack Detsch

The Pentagon is preparing for another era of lean budgets that defense officials worry could chip away at the military’s readiness to fight in the Middle East after the US House of Representatives changed hands this week.

President Donald Trump fired the first shot in the fight in October, calling for across-the-board cuts to US agencies, including the Defense Department. Tuesday’s vote will give control of the influential House Armed Services Committee to Rep. Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat who wants the Pentagon to trim its budget and seeks tighter oversight of US special operations in the Middle East.

“The Trump White House, by and large, has let the Pentagon have a lot of free rein,” Smith said at a conference in September. “I think that’s inappropriate, and I think there is a real role for Congress to step in where the White House has stepped back.”

The message is being received over at the Defense Department. Speaking at a Navy conference today, Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is emphasizing the affordability of weapons programs.

Read the full article and more in Al-Monitor.

  • Susanna V. Blume

    Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Susanna Blume is a Senior Fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include the Defense program and budget, defense posture a...