When we hear about a budget increase, particularly one approved by the Federal government, there are concerns about how the funds will be spent. Will those funds be spent as intended or prattled away on items that may fall out of the original spending approval. With the last year’s congressionally mandated defense spending increase, this week the Department of Defense published a new booklet that details accounting for how the $700 billion in defense-related spending with these three
- Restoring readiness and building a more lethal force;
- Strengthening existing alliances while building new partnerships abroad; and
- Reforming and modernizing our Department for greater affordability, accountability, and performance.
From our perspective, this booklet lays out the investments made in fighter jets, helicopters, tactical vehicles, munitions, and rocket systems, serving up several confirming data points for this aspect of our Safety & Security investing theme.
Under constraints during the Obama administration, the Pentagon said, the U.S. by 2016 was reduced to “the smallest military since World War II” and experienced “key munitions shortages.” U.S. “aircraft and ships were unable to deploy” and the nation experienced a “declining technological edge,” according to the booklet.
“Congress did its part” in the Bipartisan Budget Act this year to lift caps on discretionary national security spending by 15 percent, or about $80 billion, the biggest increase since the limits were imposed in 2011, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in the report’s introduction. “We are grateful to the American taxpayers for their support,” and “it is now DoD’s duty to spend these funds responsibility.”