Budget Request Maintains Airpower Continuity

Details of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 US defence budget, released on May 22, show that airpower spending, while increasing, will stay on the course set in the last year of the previous Obama administration. By and large, the additional funding requested by the Trump administration is not intended for more aircraft, but rather on investment in readiness and, secondarily, research and development.

While the total bottom-line funding request was 3% greater than the Obama administration had planned for the year before, the new budget request is still facing significant issues. These include the problems of the sequestration caps imposed by the Budget Control Act, compounded by the uncertainty imposed by Congress’s unwillingness to pass a budget or send a defence appropriation bill to the president for signature, as well as the unresolved issue of providing a stream of funding for the long-delayed upgraded of the US nuclear deterrent that still remain.

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