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Mark Esper: DoD Needs 5% Budget Increase to Stay Ahead of Adversaries

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Mark Esper, the defense secretary and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, has said the Pentagon needs a 3 to 5 percent increase in budget to keep up with near-peer adversaries and boost military readiness.

Esper told attendees at a Heritage Foundation event that the Department of Defense (DoD) needs to be “better stewards of the taxpayer dollar” while the Congress must ensure a steady increase of annual defense funding, the Washington Business Journal reported Friday.

He noted that the DoD is looking to realign program funds and reform 2018 National Defense Strategy goals to ensure spending efficiency. “I talk about freeing up time, money and manpower to put into other priorities,” said Esper.

“What that does is, that allows the services to use dollars spent to maintain an unnecessarily high level of readiness and invest it into people, into modernization, into any other thing they want without jeopardizing their ability to meet the war plans.”

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