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Defense spending boost: Pros and cons


Friday, March 10, 2017

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Defense spending: Up a lot in 2018?President Trump proposes to increase defense spending next year by $54 billion. (DANIEL SLIM / AFP/Getty Images)


 Kelly Cunningham, National University System

YES: Senior U.S. commanders flatly warn spending caps implemented by the Budget Control Act — sequestration — squeezed the armed forces so badly that ready-to-fight units significantly diminished. Budget caps wreaked havoc on Defense Department operations causing Congress to use gimmicks to avoid conflict with budgetary rules by adding back money essential for normal operations using former war-spending accounts. Armed forces spend about 80 percent of their budgets not on weapons and armaments but to train and compensate soldiers.