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The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act has passed, but Congress has yet to pass the annual appropriations bill, meaning the Defense Department (DoD) is still operating under a continuing resolution. Maj. Gen. Arnold Punaro (USMC-ret.), chair of the National Defense Industrial Association and author of “The Ever-Shrinking Fighting Force,” says the failure to pass a budget has dire implications for national security.

  • He said Congress has failed to do its job in the face of high global instability and threats from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran and must pass the funding bill immediately.
  • Spending in constant dollars is higher than at the peak of the Reagan military buildup, but the force is 50% smaller, Punaro said, and a year-long continuing resolution would cause DoD to lose $100 billion in funds.
  • Punaro said senior Pentagon leaders should change direction and refocus spending in the right areas to best use taxpayer money and keep up with China.

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