This year’s defense appropriations debate is becoming a war of ideas between the Pentagon and Congress. These include high profile programs like the Space Force and acquisitions across the military branches. Rick Berger, Research Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that the House’s draft is an example of the regular wrangling between legislature and the military.
“The Army wanted to [not] upgrade the Chinook fleet. HACD said ‘No way, no how.’ The report language was absolutely scathing and said continue this program into the future. Expectedly, they said you can’t retire the Truman. The White House already reversed that. What they did in another case was ‘plus’ up a lot of the regular legacy weapons systems that we see in every bill. F-35As, the F-15EX, we got more E-2’s,” Berger said. “They were also very skeptical of some of the more transformational efforts such as artificial intelligence, large unmanned surface vessels, as well as the Air Force’s next generation fighter.” “Across the board they were a little bit angry that the Pentagon didn’t do the job that they should be doing.”