Steve Bell

Opinion: They Voted for Caps. Now They Want More Defense Spending
Sequestration was supposed to be so simple, but all it did was make a giant mess for defense

President Donald Trump in his State of the Union address asked Congress to lift the “sequester cap” on defense spending. That same week, a bipartisan majority in the House, in a symbolic but important act, voted to reaffirm a cap-busting defense level for fiscal 2018. So the expectation is that defense spending will increase this year.

Leave aside for a moment the increasingly embarrassing spectacle of a Congress unable to carry out one of its most basic constitutional tasks — appropriating money to fund the government — and consider what comes next. If the fiscal 2018 defense bill ever becomes law, how will the additional money be spent?

Opinion: As Military Budget Grows, Civil-Military Divide Remains
Current defense policies risk alienating servicemembers and potential recruits

The most important resource for America’s military isn’t money. It’s the men and women who volunteer to serve.

But current defense policies risk alienating those very people who are now in the military and those we hope will join in the future.

Opinion: Defense Spending Approaches Moment of Reckoning
Big hike unlikely as defense hawks face off against deficit hawks

Recent budget and tax proposals on Capitol Hill threaten to pit defense hawks against deficit hawks, which could result in defense spending that leaves the military unable to meet all its requirements.

A virtual freeze in defense spending has been in place over the past four years, and it appears unlikely that a big increase will get through for fiscal 2018.