Welcome to our third and final week of the defense budget! This post marks the third part of our defense budget breakdown. If you didn't get a chance to read last week's breakdown, check it out here and if you'd like to start at the very beginning, check it out here. If you have any questions or are interested about hearing us speak about this on a podcast, let us know in the comments or via email!
In the FY 2019 budget, $12.9 billion is allocated towards missile defense, with $9.9 billion of that going to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). This is one of the few sections in the defense budget that explicitly discusses international partners and the importance of them, particularly in deploying missile defenses at their bequest. Some partners include the US Forces Korea, meant to protect the Korean peninsula, the Aegis Ashore site in Romania and a second site in Poland and Israel’s Cooperative BMD program. However, missile defense also includes the development of advanced missile defense technologies, increasing BMD capability and developing the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program as well as systems engineering, and the necessary testing for these kinds of programs.
Space, Cyberspace, Science and Technology
While weapons and missiles might be the obvious recipients of DOD funding, other parts of defense are also included. Space-based defense systems are now in development, including the Air Force’s Next-Generation Strategic Missile Warning System as well as the Global Positioning System. Cybersecurity is also on DOD’s radar. There are 133 Cyber Mission Force teams, all of which defend the US, DOD networks and protect Commands in the field against cyber attacks. The DOD also funds Science and Technology (S&T), sending $13.7 billion, around 2.3 percent of the Department’s funds, towards the development and innovation of new products that can counter threats. Between FY 2018 and 2019, there has been a $500 million increase in funding towards research and development within the S&T sector.
Another large section of the defense budget goes towards maintaining readiness. In other words, the military wants to make sure it is ready for combat if the situation calls for it. However, each branch uses a slightly different model. The Navy uses readiness pillars to organize themselves - which can be applied to all four sections of the force: keyword PESTONI. PESTONI stands for Personnel, Equipment, Supply, Training, Ordnance, Networks and Installations. One of the key indicators for readiness is the level of training exercises. In the Air Force, for example, there was 25 full spectrum air force training exercises in FY 2018. These training exercises were also supplemented by the Combatant Command Exercises and Engagement and Training Transformation program (CE2T2), the only coalition training forces for wartime. In the budget, $602.2 million was allocated towards these exercises.
Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)
One of the more visible funding operations of the DOD is their overseas operations. Whether the forces are deployed in Iraq or Syria, it is these forces that place their lives in danger and whose actions are the most widely broadcasted. For the FY 2019 budget, $69 billion was allocated for OCO spending. There are four main operations in this framework: Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL (Afghanistan), Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (Iraq, Syria and other ISIS operations), the European Deterrence Initiative, and other forms of security cooperation. Security cooperation can include troops in South Asia, and supporting US Central Command wherever they need assistance. Between FY 2018 and FY 2019, there was a 2.3 billion increase in funding for Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, a 1.7 billion increase for the European Deterrence Initiative and a decrease of 800 million for Operational FREEDOM SENTINEL.
Consider that for many of these missions — the budget not only supports dual counterterrorism methods, but also funds increasing troop levels and “in-theater” support. Also consider that in in Afghanistan there are 11,958 troops, while in Iraq and Syria there are 5,765 troops. While these numbers seem clear, the next figure of “In-Theater Support” which can refer to any support in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa or Europe is at 59,463 troops. In total, there the budget requested an increase in troops to 93,796 troops in OCO operations, an increase of 34,333 troops These troops are most likely funded by the $3.2 billion increase from the FY 2018 budget of $65.8 billion.
The OCO Budget Request is also broken up by functional category:
To keep up with inflation and to remain competitive with the private sector, the FY 2019 budget also requests a 2.6 percent increase in basic military pay, which is the largest pay raise in 9 years. Personnel costs also include the cost of military health care and military family support. Costs are also broken down via department. The Department of the Army is increasing its budget authority by 23.6 billion in total; The Department of the Navy is increasing its budget authority by 21.1 billion; and the Department of the Air Force is increasing its budget by 23.9 billion.
Part Two of Three. Read Part One Here, Read Part Two Here.
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