Armed Forces News

The Trump administration’s $705.4 billion defense budget request for fiscal 2021 would bolster efforts to meet the increasing threats posed by China and Russia, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper told the House Armed Services Committee during a Feb. 26 hearing.

Even though next year’s request is slightly higher than the $704.6 the administration asked for in 2019, Esper told the panel that it actually represents a two-percent decrease when inflation is considered.

ADVERTISEMENT


While it would have been advantageous to allocate funding for the Navy to reach its goal of 355 ships, Esper said the request instead determined that the money would be better spent on maintenance – citing a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that 75 percent of the fleet did not complete maintenance on schedule.
Another $5.7 billion was moved from areas that are not “service specific” to programs that foster nuclear modernization, a presence in space, missile defense, and the development of missile-defense, hypersonic, artificial intelligence, and 5G communications.