This year’s budget analysis focuses on long-term trends in the defense budget and force structure and identifies key issues facing the Defense Department as it prepares for the FY 2019 budget cycle.
The Department of Defense (DOD) faces a strategic choice: whether to focus on modernization for high-tech conflicts with China and Russia or expand forces and improve readiness to meet a superpower’s commitments for ongoing conflicts and crisis response. In their FY 2018 budgets, the services all complain that they are too small for the demands being put on them and hedge toward expanding forces and readiness. In the new DOD strategy being developed for 2019 and beyond, the services hope to pursue all three goals—expand forces, improve readiness, and increase modernization—but the fiscal future is highly uncertain, and they will likely have to make difficult trade-offs.
This report provides an assessment of current and future U.S. amphibious capabilities and those of a select group of allies and partners. It further explores options to allow U.S. amphibious forces to leverage partner and allied capabilities for combined operations without sacrificing warfighting capabilities.
This inaugural report in the Defense Outlook Series looks back at what happened in 2015, specifically with respect to strategy and the security environment, the debate in Congress over the defense budget and force structure, and changes in the acquisition system, and looks ahead to what these developments may mean in 2016 and beyond.
This report details the plans for major acquisition programs over the next fifteen years and explores the complicating factors that may make the situation more problematic for policymakers. It analyzes a range of options to mitigate the bow wave, including increasing the budget, cutting additional force structure, and making trades among major acquisition programs.