More defense spending doesn't guarantee increased military strength or security

February 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—This week, President Donald Trump announced plans to increase discretionary defense spending by $54 billion, a significant shift from then-candidate Trump’s smarter defense platform in which he promised to utilize his business expertise to more efficiently manage our government agencies—the Pentagon included.

Today, with more than $20 trillion in debt, our current levels of spending are not sustainable and endanger the security of our nation.

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen famously said, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” Fiscal conservative and former Sen. Tom Coburn observed, “Our nation's [then] $16 trillion debt is the new red menace, posing perhaps a greater threat to our nation than any military adversary.”

Defense Priorities recognizes that national defense is the most important responsibility of our federal government. That's why the United States desperately needs a wiser foreign policy that keeps us safe without unnecessarily risking American lives or our financial future.

Just as more education spending by the government doesn't always lead to better schools, more defense spending does not always lead to a stronger military and a safer homeland. In fact, it often leads to more government waste and abuse while delaying reforms of bad policies that weaken our armed forces.

“Over the last 16 years, we have increased defense spending by 50 percent, and it is not clear America is any safer. Rather than just throwing more money at the problem, Defense Priorities encourages the administration to first re-evaluate how our defense budget is being used to protect our homeland,” said Defense Priorities President, Edward King.