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.
John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics