The FY20 defense budget provides a big boost in funding for the Pentagon, and organizations inside and outside the beltway are analyzing how the plan will impact spending for the next year. Travis Sharp, research fellow at Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, says that the president may be overstating its significance in some areas, but the spending plan is still a large jump.
“If we interpret ‘historic’ to mean the biggest ever, well the current defense budget is not historic. From 2007 to 2012 in inflation-adjusted dollars, we were spending more on defense. That’s for a very obvious reason. Combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan during that time were very intense. The budget currently is not as big as during those years.” Sharp said. “However, it is bigger than several other periods that are worth noting. It’s bigger than the 1980s Ronald Reagan buildup, it’s bigger than the Vietnam War and it’s also bigger than during the Korean War in inflation-adjusted dollars. This budget might be not the biggest ever, but it is still quite large and significant in historical terms.”