March 03, 2017

Why Trump’s Military Buildup Is Not As Big As He Promises

Featuring Paul Scharre

Earlier this week the Trump administration announced it would seek a $54 billion increase in defense spending in an effort to make good on the president’s campaign promise to restore American military dominance. This additional funding is sorely needed to repair military readiness and fund critical modernization initiatives, both of which have suffered under spending cuts imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.

Yet this defense buildup, while necessary, is hardly the “historic” increase Trump had claimed.

Administration officials touted their request as a 10% increase above BCA spending limits. While true, this is a misleading baseline. Trump’s request of $603 billion for fiscal year 2018 is only 3% above the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2017 request of $583 billion. And Trump’s request is significantly below the $640 billion that Sen. John McCain and Rep. Mac Thornberry have argued is necessary. The Trump budget is also only modestly higher than what Congress authorized for the Defense Department last year.

Read the full article at Fortune.

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