2020 Budget Focuses on High-End Threats, DOD Leaders Say

The $718 billion defense budget request for fiscal year 2020 addresses growing threats from Russia and China, the Defense Department’s top leaders told Congress today.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified on the budget before the Senate Armed Services Committee. They were joined by David L. Norquist, DOD’s comptroller and chief financial officer.

“China’s defense spending approaches that of the U.S., when we take into account purchasing power and the portion of our budget going to military pay and benefits,” Shanahan told the senators. “That, coupled with China’s organized approach to steal foreign technology, has allowed China to modernize its missile, space, and cyber capabilities, as well as project power far beyond its borders.”

He also noted that Russia “continues to compete asymmetrically with the U.S., modernizing and developing its own missile, space, and cyber capabilities.”

Dunford noted that the capabilities developed by China and Russia “limit our ability to operate freely in space, cyberspace, land, sea and air.”

“The capabilities we identified in this year’s budget are really designed to allow us to project power when and where necessary to advance our interest in the context of that emerging threat from China and Russia,” the chairman said.

Shanahan added that…

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