President Trump will propose adding $54 billion to the FY2018 defense budget. Much of this is likely to be spent on improved readiness. Years of underfunding, downsizing and overuse have left the U.S. military in a state of profound unreadiness. The Army is in greater need of additional funding for readiness. However, if the Army receives additional resources in FY2017 and 2018, it must resist the impulse to spend it all on additional end strength and the traditional measures of readiness – training, spare parts and maintenance. The Army has been forced to shortchange modernization in order to avoid a readiness collapse. Near-term modernization must be part of the answer to the readiness challenge. I have written about sensible Army modernization here.
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