Leadership: February 22, 2002


When President Reagan came into office with massive defense spending increases to recover from the bankrupt military left by President Carter, most of the money went into force structure, modernization, and readiness. The $48 billion budget increase requested by President George W Bush will not accomplish the same things. Most of the money will go into pay raises, increasing health care costs, maintenance backlogs, underfunded procurement programs, and the war on terror; very little (about $6 billion) will go into buying new weapons and none of the money will go into increasing the size of the military. Money for modernization will instead come from retiring older weapons faster. The Navy is retiring its F-14s two years early even though the F-18 is less capable. The budget includes $10 billion for "further war activities" such as the invasion of Iraq, while another $9.4 billion is provided to replace and increase the ammunition stockpile. --Stephen V Cole


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