The Trump administration’s national security budget of $716 billion in fiscal 2019 would add more troops, combat aircraft and start rebuilding the Navy fleet while also supporting modernization of the nuclear triad and boosting research spending for cyber, electronic warfare, artificial intelligence and space.
“Clearly, this budget is targeted at high-end capabilities to deter and dissuade Russia and China,” said Cowen defense analyst Roman Schweizer.
Defense officials briefing reporters Monday said the increased investment in defense was needed to confront new threats from rival superpowers as well as a more dangerous international security situation with rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. They also said the president’s fiscal 2019 budget request was based on several key priorities, including accelerating warfighter readiness, cost-effective modernization and strengthened alliances, as well as a secure and effective nuclear deterrent.
“The United States faces an increasingly competitive and dangerous international security environment, characterized by the reemergence of great power competition with China and Russia, dangerous new technologies, empowered non-state actors, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” the White House said in its budget document for the Department of Defense. “The budget requests resources needed to compete with great powers and others, deter conflict, and win the nation’s wars.”
The administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal of $716 billion for national security includes a DoD budget request is $686.1 billion. The department’s base operations budget is $617 billion and the overseas contingency operations fund is $69 billion.
The fiscal 2019 budget represents a $74 billion increase, or 10 percent real growth, over the levels set in the continuing resolution levels.
“While the $74 billion increase is large, it is important to put it in its historical context,” David Norquist, the Pentagon comptroller and chief financial officer, told reporters in a briefing Monday. “Even with this budget agreement, defense outlays will remain near historical lows as a share of the U.S. economy.”
It follows Congress last week agreeing to lift the sequester spending caps on defense as part of a two-year budget agreement. The agreement ended a partial government shutdown Friday but there’s still work ahead before a final fiscal 2019 DoD budget is the law.
“This fiscal 2019 budget is just a suggestion — Congress still has to finish up with the fiscal 2018 budget and then get around to doing this,” said Cowen’s Schweizer. “You still have to go through the authorization process and the appropriations process. So we are a long way from a final budget. This is just the first inning of an extra-inning game.”
The administration said the budget request pursues “innovation and reform, while making disciplined increases to sustain America’s military advantage and to account for the long-term costs of contingencies. Over the 10-year budget window, funding for DoD is $1 trillion above projections from the previous administration, dramatically improving the warfighting ability of the joint force.”
source : CNBC