March 03, 2017

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

By 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.

  • Podcast
    • January 17, 2020
    Stories from the Backchannel: Season Two Trailer

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Richard Fontaine, Susanna V. Blume, Kayla M. Williams, Price B. Floyd, Kurt Campbell & Kara Frederick

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • January 17, 2020
    Sending Troops Back to the Middle East Won’t Stop Iran

    The Trump administration’s decision to kill Qassam Soleimani is the latest in an escalatory “maximum pressure” Iran strategy that is shifting American foreign policy attention...

    By Chris Dougherty & Kaleigh Thomas

  • Commentary
    • War on the Rocks
    • January 15, 2020
    Defense Strategy for a Post-Trump World

    In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...

    By Van Jackson

  • Video
    • January 13, 2020
    Experimenting with different approaches to acquisitions

    Susanna Blume, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director at the CNAS Defense Program, details how military branches are taking different approaches to procurement, and how each one is...

    By Susanna V. Blume

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia