2018 Defense Budget Defers Buildup for Austerity

2018 Defense Budget Defers Buildup for Austerity
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Key Points

  • President Trump’s defense budget would repair, not rebuild, the military. Worse, it lacks the investments necessary to allow a robust rebuilding effort to begin a year from now. The request represents a more muscular status quo at best.
  • This budget continues a favored Washington tradition of investing in the immediate and long term while shortchanging the next three to 15 years. This “barbell” investment strategy emphasizes the conflicts of today and the wars of the distant future, while discounting the long bar of the medium term, wherein most strategic and military risk lies.
  • President Trump’s overall federal spending blueprint suggests that balancing the budget ranks above rebuilding the military in the administration’s list of priorities. This should raise concerns about the president’s commitment to rebuilding the military and his ability to deliver the legislative changes Congress will need to do so.

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