When Congress delivered a $716 billion defense budget to the Pentagon, defense leaders made it clear it was a positive proposal, however some questioned if the budget would be enough to accomplish everything the department foresees as necessary.
Now the ranking Democrat about the House Armed Services Committee, who is poised to adopt in the HASC should November elections go blue, is warning that tightened belts are around the horizon.
Asked specifically if $716 billion may be the right number for defense and whether future budgets will stay during this level, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, said flatly: “No no.”
“I think the number’s excessive, and it’s definitely not gonna be there down the road,” Smith said.
The congressman argued that this debt and deficit situation facing the country requires balancing out what sort of government is spending, particularly after the Trump administration’s tax cuts managed to get “even more challenging to obtain our budget manageable.”
But drawing along the defense budget should be section of a broader look at U.S. strategy, something which Smith said uses a realistic take a look at America’s military strategy. He pointed to the idea that 355 ships are essential for your Navy as one example of flawed logic, because “capability matters.”
“We can do this,” Smith said with the U.S. remaining the important thing world power. “I’m not remotely concerned about it. It is a more difficult and different world in some ways, but the Cold War was no walk in the park either. World War II certainly wasn’t. We will always face challenges. The question is about being smart.
“We simply have to be smart as an alternative to wanting to force our way back in to a world that is never going to be again.”
“We are going to be a major, major player, possibly the major player, on the global stage” for some time into the future, Smith added. “But we are really not destined to be utterly and completely dominant.”