RELEASE: Proposed Defense Budget More Than Meets U.S. National Security Needs, CAP Analysis Finds

Washington, D.C. — Despite complaints from defense hawks, a new analysis from the Center for American Progress finds that the proposed defense budget for fiscal year 2021 should be more than adequate to protect U.S. national security.

The issue brief offers eight reasons why the $740 billion proposal should be enough—if it is spent wisely. For example, the cost of waging wars in the Middle East will decrease as the United States reduces the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, in President Donald Trump’s first three budgets, spending on defense rose by almost $100 billion compared with President Barack Obama’s FY 2017 budget.

There is no doubt that, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the federal government will have to increase its spending dramatically to keep citizens safe and get the economy going again. In the first stimulus package, for example, the U.S. Department of Defense is slated to receive an additional $10.8 billion in its FY 2020 budget.

But in addition to providing more money to nondefense agencies that contribute to national security, the federal government should put more funds into rebuilding the nation’s aging infrastructure rather than purchasing new destabilizing nuclear weapons, large aircraft carriers, and flawed fighters. Doing so will not only create more jobs than defense spending could, but it will also reflect a desperately needed shift in priorities.

Read the issue brief: “The Pentagon’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget More Than Meets U.S. National Security Needs” by Lawrence J. Korb

For more information, or to talk with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202-478-6327.