Later this spring, the Trump administration will release its 2018 Missile Defense Review (MDR), which is expected to better align U.S. missile defense policy with the present security environment. President Barack Obama’s 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR) reflected the security environment of the time and the aspirations of the Obama administration. In particular, technological advances by U.S. adversaries and a renewed focus on long-term competition with Russia and China drive the need for a new review.
The budget deal’s large defense increase in FY 2019 allows the Department of Defense (DOD) to do a lot more than it was doing before, but not everything. A major trade-off is with force structure. The forces proposed are more than what Secretary of Defense James Mattis had originally signaled but less than what President Donald Trump’s rhetoric had implied.
Emphasis on accountability, although valuable and necessary, can impede the defense acquisition process rather than alleviate problems. Acquisition reform must look beyond placing blame and create an environment that values collaboration and risk-taking as it seeks to improve the challenges in the acquisition process.
The Navy budget is due to increase as they seek to achieve a 355 ship Navy. However, it is unwise to counterbalance those cost by reactivating the decommissioned Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates. Authors John Cole and Thomas Ulmer address the challenges and explain why the long-term cost outweigh the short-term savings.
Like a zombie in a low-budget horror film, a bad idea that keeps coming back to life is the proposal to scale back the military housing allowance. In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senate version of the bill included a provision that would have limited the housing allowance to only what service…