Bill Greenwalt, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, discusses how debate over the defense budget might play out, and how mergers in the defense industry could change the contracting landscape.
The fiscal 2020 White House budget request will be delivered to Congress in three weeks. From there, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees will examine the defense budget thoroughly. Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX) said that they will consider what the administration wants, including the Space Force. Bill Greenwalt, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, says that Defense Department officials need to convince Congress that what they are asking for is necessary. “[They’re] coming from a view that the U.S. is losing its technological dominance. Therefore, we need to put the acquisition system on a wartime footing, like with the 809 Panel, and whether we need to do some serious policy and programmatic decisions as far as the National Defense Strategy goes,” Greenwalt said. “I think there’s skepticism that we’ve fallen behind, that the existing systems still can turn it around. I personally think that’s going to take a lot of effort and that would be a tough road to haul to achieve that.”