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The new budget topline adds about $10 billion for the Pentagon, but experts say the increase will only cover the cost of inflation. Pay increases Congress is likely to mandate mean less buying power next year for the Pentagon than this year.

  • Frederico Bartels, Senior Policy Analyst for Defense Budgeting at The Heritage Foundation, said the fastest ways to cut costs in the defense budget are reducing training and delaying procurement, although this increases the risk of a readiness crisis.
  • With inflation and the need for legacy system maintenance and readiness, modernization efforts will suffer if there are too few resources, said Bartels.
  • Bartels said he will pay close attention to how the full budget defines “legacy.”
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