Issue Briefs

Five Progressive Reasons Why President Biden Shouldn’t Cut The Pentagon Budget (From Forbes)

Five Progressive Reasons Why President Biden Shouldn’t Cut The Pentagon Budget (From Forbes)

Loren B. Thompson

February 02nd, 2021

Some progressive members of the Democratic Party are calling for a cut in defense spending to free up money for domestic programs. However, that might create consequences that are at odds with what progressives want. The Pentagon budget is an economic stimulus and jobs generator for thousands of communities, not to mention the closest thing Washington has to an industrial policy. Only 3% of the budget is currently spent on prosecuting foreign wars in places like Afghanistan. Budget cuts could bring a return of readiness issues that endanger warfighters and undermine the new administration’s credibility on national security. Beyond that, the military needs a technology refresh if it is to keep up with China’s military modernization, and the jobs created in the process could impact voting in swing states. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.

The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.

Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern University.