U.S. Defense Budget

By the way, the defense budget is supposed to be going up (maybe). Now, it has been in decline a while. We were told by a U.S. Army director back in 2009 not to expect continued support because of upcoming budget cuts. This was before sequestration. Sequestration basically shrunk the Army’s budget by 5% or so every year for three years running (2013-2015). It was “lifted” for 2016, but this only meant that the budget did not decline further. The U.S. Army went from a high of around 570,000 troops in 2010 to around 475,000 troops now. They were preparing to continue drawing down to around 450,000 troops.

Now, budget is supposed to be increasing. The Army is supposed to grow to 540,000 troops, the navy from a 275-ship navy to a 355-ship navy and our nuclear forces are supposed to be upgraded. So far the only thing slated for reduction is the F-35 (maybe). The U.S. is still running a deficit and certainly tax increases are not on the horizon; in fact they are talking about tax cuts. Hard to know how this is going to all balance out.

The defense budget authorized for FY2017 is 618.7 billion. We are already four months into that fiscal year. It was 604.2 authorized in 2016.

The nominated head of OMB (Office of Management and Budget) is a tea-party fiscal conservative: mulvaney-defense-budget

P.S. The defense budget basically increased every year from 1996 to 2008, going from 266 billion (16.8% of the total government budget) to 696 billion (20.9% of total government budget). In was 698 in 2009, 721 in 2010, 717 in 2001, 681 in 2012, 610 in 2013, 614 in 2014 and 637 in 2015 (16.0% of total government budget). This is not inflation adjust dollars: Military_budget_of_the_United_States

P.P.S.: According to one source the size of the United States Army in 2010 was 566,045 in 2010: us-military-personnel-1954-2014


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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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