Modernization accounts will see a vast reduction in the Fiscal 2013-2017 future years defense program laid out by Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale on Monday. In Fiscal 2013, defense officials reduced modernization by $18 billion versus last year’s forecast, and from Fiscal 2014 to Fiscal 2017, modernization accounts fall a further $76 billion versus previous plans, said Hale. If Congress goes along, that means the Pentagon will spend $94 billion less on modernizing the armed forces in the coming five fiscal years, despite the fact that modernization was suppressed during the last 11 years. During that period, the bulk of defense spending went to conducting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to an increasingly generous compensation program for uniformed personnel. Meanwhile, the new defense budget proposal maintains a level of about $11.9 billion for science and technology in Fiscal 2013, of which $2.1 billion is for basic research. (See also Monday’s coverage: DOD’s New Budget Request from the Top Down.)
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.