Written by Paul Mcleary; Originally appeared at Breaking Defense.com
As old programs go, the Corps is looking at new cyber capabilities and getting back into the air defense game.
The Marine Corps think they’ve found a path forward for pushing more money to areas Defense Secretary James Mattis wants them to spend. And that involves kicking a growing list of old programs to the curb.
The two-year budget boost negotiated by Congress will come to a crashing halt with the 2020 defense budget with sequestration budget caps returning, So, to modernize “we have to divest,” Brig. Gen. James Acton, director of the Capabilities Development Directorate said.
The 2019 budget “was designed to plug holes. Honestly that was when we first started looking at divestment issues,” he told the Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Annapolis Md. on Wednesday The 2020 and 2021 budgets “are all about modernization, and modernization requires us to adapt and innovate to make us more lethal.”
But the cuts all come with a cost, Adams warned, and every decision is difficult. “It’s easy to say I need this new thing or that new thing, but no one ever comes to the table with an offset,” Adams said. “But we have to figure out where the trades are, if we’re going to modernize and accelerate.”
Mattis has made sure that the armed services are focused on his favorite concept — “lethality” — and the Pentagon rank and file have taken that message to heart. It’s rare that a civilian or military official talks these days without underscoring their sole focus is on making the force more lethal.
That might be harder than the past two years of budget stability have made it appear. President Trump this week demanded his cabinet officials cut 5 percent from their 2020 budget requests, a call that appears, in some fashion, to include the Pentagon.
“We know what the new budget is for the Defense Department. It will probably be $700 billion,” Trump said of the fiscal year 2020 request.