13 March 2019
The White House defense budget for 2020 falls short of commitments made and actual requirements to meet the military’s strategy, but it begins to shift priorities and start the long process of investing in long-term competition with China and Russia.
Washington still lacks the budget details for another week, but here are some initial reflections on the 2020 defense request likely to endure.
The 2020 budget makes some clear tradeoffs with ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’ Examples abound:
- The early retirement of the USS Harry S. Truman at midlife;
- Reductions in the Joint Strike Fighter planned buy to purchase F-15EXs;
- Fewer Bradleys and Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army;
- A slight de-emphasis of the European Deterrence Initiative, rejiggered shipbuilding investment portfolio, and continued growth in space, cyber, artificial intelligence, hypersonics and munitions.