More Money, Less Problems

The discussion about the defense budget needs to change, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on seapower and projection forces told reporters Feb. 2. “What really concerns me is the continued discussion of national defense as if it’s something we can simply say, ‘This is how much we want to spend, now let’s spend that and make our strategies compliant,” said Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) at a Defense Writer’s Group breakfast in Washington, D.C. “Should we not be changing that analysis and saying, ‘OK, what do we need to defend the country? … My worry is that analysis is not being done at the White House.” Forbes, who said he would like to see “more money” in the Fiscal 2017 budget, said there is a roughly $75 billion gap between the proposed Fiscal 2017 budget and what former Defense Secretary Robert Gates had projected would be necessary. And though some have suggested production of the Joint Strike Fighter could be scaled back to pay for other priorities, Forbes said it is important the Pentagon continues to invest in the program. “I think scaling back, it always costs you money,” he said. “We’re married to the Joint Strike Fighter, whether we like it or not. It’s going to happen, and there’s a need that’s there.”