The U.S. Army is struggling to modernize its warfighting systems despite inadequate funding. One solution is to use lower-priority programs as bill-payers for the most critical modernization initiatives. But that puts the Army crosswise with President Trump’s reelection campaign, because some of the biggest bill-payers have hard-wired constituencies in key swing states. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle employs thousands in Wisconsin. The Abrams tank is built in Ohio. The Chinook helicopter plant is located in Pennsylvania. Each of these states is important to the president’s reelection bid, but the programs are all targeted for cuts in the Army’s 2021 budget request. The paradox is that if Trump loses the swing states and thus the election, the Army’s entire modernization plan will be in jeopardy. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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