The U.S. Army budget for 2017 preferred readiness over modernization.
Preparing units was more important for the U.S. Army that modernizing forces.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the U.S. forces are roughly 7-to-9 billion dollars short on the funds needs to modernize the force.
Earlier this year, military forces said they were sorting out the “best-possible balance within their topline funding level”.
However, the first six months of 2017 proved a primary spending on readiness, as 23 billion dollars were invested for Overseas Contingency Operations, 2 billion more than 2016.
All the while base budgets for 2017 decreased 2 billion dollars less than 2016.
Concerns for army officials
Staff General Mark Milley addressed Congress in April 2016 saying that U.S. forces have become “outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries, particularly by the Russian counterparts.
The urge to begin funding efforts to update existing platforms and systems has been mentioned on a various amount of times, even by Andrew Hunter, who is director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at CSIS and head of the report.
Hunter told the The Washington Free Beacon: “The Army has some critical needs to modernize because of the evolving threat, driven largely by Russia (…) This must be a priority.”
Combat readiness has become more important than modernizing forces and their work tools, and it´s becoming a very controversial topic.
- Overall spending for the U.S. Military is 148 billion, as proposed by the Defense Department.
- 190,000 soldiers are currently deployed, 50,000 more than February 2015.
- Reserves are present in over 135 countries.
- The U.S. Army is planning to spend 15.1 billion dollars on updated helicopters and ground vehicle systems.
- The active-duty force will be cut down to 460,000 soldiers.
- The National Guard shrunk to 335,000 elements (342,000 before).
- The Army reserve will cut down from 198,000 to 195,000.