Issue Briefs

Five Reasons The U.S. Army Deserves To Be First In Line For More Modernization Funding

Five Reasons The U.S. Army Deserves To Be First In Line For More Modernization Funding

By Loren B. Thompson

February 25th, 2020

The Trump defense increases are over, and competition for scarce budget dollars among the military services therefore is likely to grow more intense. They all are facing a shortfall in modernization funding, but the Army arguably has the most compelling case for getting a boost. First, soldiers are more likely to be killed or wounded in wars than members of other services. Second, the Army only gets one day of federal spending per year for R&D, far less than the other military departments. Third, when military budgets stop rising, modernization almost invariably is the first item to be cut. Fourth, Army leaders are already being forced to cut things soldiers are sure to need in the future. Finally, unlike in the other military departments, it wouldn’t take much money to fix the Army’s modernization problems. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.

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.