As expected, the final 2018 Defense budget the Trump administration submitted to Congress on May 23rd calls for $640 billion in military spending, $52 billion more than the current year and breaking the current budget caps by the same amount.
But even amid a healthy plus-up in the top-line amount, the Pentagon says it’s found some modest ways to produce “efficiency” savings in 2018. Officials billed the budget as a fulfillment of two commitments Defense Secretary James Mattis made when he took office in January: rebuilding the military’s readiness and reforming its business operations.
“There are a number of ongoing activities that we continue to pursue,” said John Roth, the career senior executive who’s currently performing the duties of DoD comptroller. “We’re continuing to look at the major headquarters and to reduce them by 25 percent. We continue with acquisition reform, particularly with Better Buying Power 3.0. We continue to take a hard look at our service support contracts and make sure that they’re appropriate.”
The department said the largest chunk of the savings — $1.2 billion — will come from changes to business processes in the headquarters of the military services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.