Mackenzie Eaglen | American Enterprise Institute
To reduce the chance of war and restore the credibility of America's nonmilitary tools of power, the US must quickly repair and rebuild its military. Yet lawmakers and Pentagon leaders must also ensure that the necessary haste of repairing and rebuilding the force does not lead to shortsighted choices.
James C. Capretta | Real Clear Policy
The Trump administration has produced a budget that is remarkable for its glaring disconnection from political and fiscal reality. It inherited a federal budget that was badly out of balance — and then promptly made the situation worse. The current trend toward growing deficits and debt will continue and likely get much worse.
In the meantime, there are key signals that Congress and the Pentagon can send to American adversaries that a defense buildup is real and that change is coming to the force. Eaglen outlines a few ways to do this in a War on the Rocks op-ed. Secretary of Defense James Mattis should support increasing the fleet size quickly with little risk by working to eliminate onerous requirements such as shock trials. Congress could also signal its enduring commitment to a genuine buildup by curtailing accounting gimmicks such as the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund. Read what else can be done here.