A Defensible Defense Budget

Is Trump's defense budget worth the trade-offs?

President Trump has called for a substantial increase in defense spending—nearly 10 percent or $54 billion. That’s serious money, and it’s seriously needed to rebuild defense capabilities that have been hurt by the sequestration process agreed to by President Obama and Congress. Similar or slightly larger increases in defense outlays will be needed for the next three years to achieve the ambitious goals that Trump set out during the 2016 campaign, when he called for, as I have previously noted, “increasing the army from 450,000 active-duty soldiers to 540,000, the Marine Corps from 182,000 marines to 200,000, the Navy from 272 deployable ships to 350, and the air force from 1,141 combat aircraft to 1,200.”

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A Defensible Defense Budget

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