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Frederico Bartels is a policy analyst for defense budgeting at The Heritage Foundation's Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy.
House appropriators have now released their budget top lines for every government agency, and their number for the Department of Defense shows they acknowledge the defense budget needs an increase.
Increase - President - Budget - Request - Needs
But that increase still isn’t enough, as it falls short of the president’s budget request and of what the military needs to continue its rebuild.
The numbers released by Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, shows $622 billion for the base defense discretionary budget. That would be a 2.3% increase over the 2019 enacted budget.
Step - Understanding - Need - Defense - Tools
It’s a good initial step that highlights a bipartisan understanding on the need to properly fund our national defense and make sure that our military has the necessary tools to engage in the great power competition outlined by the National Defense Strategy.
It is directionally correct, but Congress and the nation need to be more ambitious.
Defense - Secretary - James - Mattis - Chairman
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, have expressed multiple times that the Department of Defense requires between 3% and 5% real growth in the coming years in order to keep pace with the current threats facing our nation.
Meanwhile, the president’s budget request asks Congress for an increase of 4.8%. The president’s budget could still improve, but his defense budget top line is more in line with the challenges that our military faces.
Heritage - Foundation - Index - US - Military
As the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of U.S. Military Strength shows, the military has seen improvement in its readiness, capacity, and...
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