Budget cuts in military spending likely as $4 trillion deficit looms, coronavirus takes toll on industry

May 6, 2020
Even as Congress pulls out the stops trying to weather the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Pentagon already is eyed as the future deficit bill-payer.

WASHINGTON – With the federal deficit expected to balloon to over $4 trillion in fiscal 2020 due to spending to pump the economy in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, downward pressure on the U.S. defense budget is inevitable, several experts believe. Breaking Defense reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

6 May 2020 -- The best-case scenario is for flat defense budgets for the foreseeable future, but if history is a guide, the smart money is on defense budget cuts, explained Todd Harrison, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget guru at the Center for Strategic and International Security (CSIS).

Harrison noted that already DOD has been looking at flat budgets through 2021, which has caused it to have to take some risks as it tries to juggle divesting in high-maintenance legacy systems with military spending for future programs while maintaining readiness to handle a possible peer conflict with Russia and/or China.

The Pentagon might also petition Congress for greater authority to use operations and maintenance funds appropriated but not spent due to work slowdowns to short up programs facing cost overruns because DOD paid contractors for work supposed to be done, but not actually done, while employees are home-bound due to the pandemic, Harrison says.

Related: Pentagon leaders seek to classify long-term DOD budget projections to keep future military spending secret

Related: Pentagon's proposed 2021 defense budget would increase military research spending, eliminate legacy aircraft

Related: DOD budget pushing house cleaning pivot to leading-edge technologies: out with the old and in with the new

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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