As we did for the Navy and Air Force “unfunded” lists, we reviewed the Army’s March 1st letter to the House Armed Services Committee regarding its “Unfinanced Requirements List”.
We have to hand it to Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley. His list is far more modest, just over $308 million, than those presented by his Air Force and Navy counterparts. In fact he takes pains to point out, “Our Army, if called upon, is prepared to fight and win tonight.”
But he goes on to say, “Additional funding above the FY19 President’s Budget (PB) request for the requirements on the enclosed list will provide opportunities to accelerate the Army’s readiness and lethality to meet Combatant Command and [National Defense Strategy] requirements.”
Mind you, the overall Army budget request for this year clocks in at $182.5 billion. This is broken down to a base budget request of $148.8 billion and a warfighting budget request of $33.7 billion. So the “unfinanced” list corresponds to less than .2% of the overall request.
And while there may be value added to the Army by purchasing another $153 million of “cyber electromagnetic activities” (be sure to check out our database of federal cyber spending), if the Army couldn’t fit it into its $182.5 billion request, it couldn’t have been too high of a priority.
Time for Congress to pull the plug on the annual Kabuki theater of the unfunded lists.