DoD Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal
“To address the scope and pace of our competitors’ and adversaries’ ambitions and capabilities, we must invest in modernization of key capabilities through sustained, predictable budgets. Our backlog of deferred readiness, procurement, and modernization requirements has grown in the last decade and a half and can no longer be ignored. We will make targeted, disciplined increases in personnel and platforms to meet key capability and capacity needs. The 2018 National Defense Strategy underpins our planned fiscal year 2019-2023 budgets, accelerating our modernization programs and devoting additional resources in a sustained effort to solidify our competitive advantage.” – Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of the United States of America
Today President Donald J. Trump sent Congress a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget request of $716 billion for national security, $686 billion of which is for the Department of Defense. The National Defense Strategy, which aligns with the National Security Strategy, connects strategy to the FY 2019 budget priorities, enabling the Department to compete, deter, and win. This establishes a foundation for rebuilding the U.S. military into a more capable, lethal, and ready Joint Force. The objectives of the Department are “to be prepared to defend the homeland, remain the preeminent military power in the world, ensure the balances of power remain in our favor, and advance an international order that is most conducive to our security and prosperity.” The FY 2019 budget has been developed to meet these specific objectives.
Secretary Mattis recently said, “In a world awash in change, with increasing threats, there is no room for complacency. Failure to implement or fund the 2018 National Defense Strategy will leave us with a force that could dominate the last war, yet be irrelevant to tomorrow’s security. For too long we have asked our military to carry on stoically with a success-at-any-cost attitude.” We are grateful to Congress and the American people for the recently-enacted Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which lifts the caps so our military can be resourced at a funding level commensurate with our mission.
The National Security Strategy states that the United States “must reverse recent decisions to reduce the size of the Joint Force and grow the force while modernizing and ensuring readiness.” The FY 2019 budget increases end strength by 25,900 (24,100 in the active components and 1,800 in the reserve components) over the FY 2018 budget. Each military service has a distinctive readiness recovery plan and the increases are targeted to advance these plans to improve readiness and increase lethality.
As the National Defense Strategy notes, “investments will prioritize ground, air, sea and space forces that can deploy, survive, operate, maneuver, and regenerate in all domains while under attack.” This budget’s major warfighting investments include:
The National Defense Strategy also notes the importance of prioritizing “investments in resilience, reconstitution, and operations to assure our space capabilities.” Our space investments include:
Highlighting the importance of missile defense programs, the National Defense Strategy calls for investments that will “focus on layered missile defenses and disruptive capabilities for both theater missile threats and North Korean ballistic missile threats.” Those investments for FY 2019 include:
In addition, the National Defense Strategy calls for a Joint Force that “must be able to strike diverse targets inside adversary air and missile defense networks to destroy mobile power-projection platforms.” To help accomplish that goal, the FY 2019 budget includes the following preferred munitions:
The budget implements the commitment in the National Defense Strategy to “modernize the nuclear triad – including nuclear command, control, and communications, and supporting infrastructure.” FY 2019 investments in nuclear deterrence include:
President Trump’s National Security Strategy articulates that “a growing and innovative economy allows the United States to maintain the world’s most powerful military and protect our homeland.” This budget request invests $13.7 billion in science and technology to further innovation and new and advanced capabilities including hypersonics technology, cyber space, space, directed energy, electronic warfare, unmanned systems and artificial intelligence.
The FY 2019 budget supports our service members and their families, providing a competitive compensation package that reflects the unique demands and sacrifices of military service. As the National Defense Strategy highlights, “The creativity and talent of the American warfighter is our greatest enduring strength, and one we do not take for granted.” The budget:
o Spousal/community support
o Child care for approximately 1 million military children
o DoD Dependent Schools, which are educating over 78,000 students
o Commissary operations at 237 stores
o Counseling support for service members and their families
This budget increases facilities investment to $10.5 billion, which is 7% above the FY 2018 base budget request. It concentrates on ensuring the basing infrastructure is sized to increase force lethality and minimizing the cost of maintaining unneeded capacity. The budget balances investment in infrastructure across DoD priorities and includes:
The FY 2019 budget continues to implement the Administration’s commitment to reform DoD business practices for greater performance and affordability. Highlighting this commitment, the National Defense Strategy cautions that “we must transition to a culture of performance where results and accountability matter.” Secretary Mattis has directed Deputy Secretary Shanahan to reform DoD’s business operations and reapply those savings to improve readiness and to increase the lethality and capacity of the military. The DoD is focused on spending wisely by using shared, centralized services with the goal of using best practices to maximize effectiveness in areas including:
The FY 2019 Budget also reflects continued savings from ongoing reforms such as defense travel modernization and the 25% management headquarters reduction. Recent DoD reforms include:
The OCO budget for FY 2019 supports Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL in Afghanistan, and Operation INHERENT RESOLVE in Iraq and Syria.
The entire budget proposal and additional material are available at: http://comptroller.defense.gov/budget-materials.