Speculation is flying around the Beltway, if not in middle America, about the impact on defense of a potential Democratic Congress. Government Executive’s Megan Scully reports that Democratic leaders would shy from dramatic cuts to war funding or “trim overall defense spending.” A Democratic majority probably would not target the Future Combat System or the Joint Strike Fighter, but would look more closely at the Missile Defense System. Scully’s sources also believe the Navy could get a boost. On the other hand, senior defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute says in a new issue brief that research shows that “since 1976 Democratic control of the government has been a powerful predictor of declines in defense [research and procurement] outlays.”
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.