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Air Force chief to Congress: ‘We need a budget’ or American forces will die

The Pentagon can’t fund priorities when it’s never sure how much it will have to spend

(NationalSentinel) Defense: The Air Force chief is imploring Congress to actually pass a full budget and not just stopgap spending measures because the military services need the certainty an annual budget brings so they can properly prioritize spending.

Otherwise, the result will be dead American troops on some future battlefield.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

“The most important thing that we can get from Congress is a budget,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said during an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “We have got to get back in the position of allowing a service chief the ability to plan and produce for the nation the best Air Force I can produce with the resources I’m given.”

Goldfein said short-term measures like continuing resolutions and sequestration have wreaked havoc on the military’s five branches. He said stop-gap spending bills undermine the ability of service chiefs to plan ahead.

Goldfein lauded President Donald Trump’s proposed $54 billion increase to defense spending as a step in the right direction toward restoring military readiness, but he urged lawmakers to prioritize passing a long-term budget rather than fixating on specific dollar amounts.

“For a service chief, the sandbox that I work in is capability, capacity, and readiness, and I’ve got to make strategic trades within those three bins to be able to build the best Air Force that we can build,” he said. “If resources don’t come until the last half of the year, which has been the case now for eight years running … and I’ve only got that money in one-year increments, you can’t plan against that.”

Stopgap spending measures became the new normal during the rancorous partisan years of the Obama administration. And the pleas of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine service chiefs fell largely on deaf ears:

The four chiefs expressed their concerns that the military would face significant challenges in protecting the U.S. homeland and sustaining ongoing missions if Congress again fails to pass a budget. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Congress’s inability to pass a budget by April 28 would “result in dead Americans on a future battlefield.”

GOP leaders seem ready to cave on other Trump spending priorities. Let’s hope they don’t cave on this one.

You know, once they actually get back into town.

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