Analysts see deficits in the financing of Pentagon S&T


Analysts see deficits in the financing of Pentagon S&T

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According to a recently released think tank report, the Pentagon must invest more in science and technology programs in order to be prepared to deter or defeat advanced adversaries.

President Joe Biden’s military budget proposal for fiscal year 2022 is a “mixed bag,” said a new center for a new American security study entitled “Risky Business: Future Strategy and Force Options for the Defense Department.”

“In some ways, preparing for high-end conflict seems to be a priority. The great [research, development, test and evaluation] The budget suggests that the DoD is focused on developing the next generation of technologies and capabilities, ”it said. “Still, one needs to look under the FDT&E top budget to see how much of this funding is being allocated to the Science and Technology Budget (Budget Activity Codes 6.1–6.3) which is critical basic and applied research for the development of advanced technologies is required. especially the breakthrough types of technology that the Biden administration focuses on.

The RDT&E programs, which fall under other activity codes, focus on developing shorter-term prototypes and enhancing existing skills, noted CNAS analysts Stacie Pettyjohn, Becca Wasser and Jennie Matuschak, who wrote the report.

The proposed S&T budget of $ 14.7 billion for 2022 represents only 13 percent of the total FDT&E budget, they noted. For comparison: The 2015 budget application for science and technology made up 18.1 percent of the research, development, test and evaluation budget.

“Most of the 5.1 percent gains that make this FY22-RDT&E budget requirement the largest ever, are not focused on developing the most advanced skills,” the study says.

Among the services, the Army leads the way in requested S&T funding with approximately $ 2.7 billion, or 21 percent of its FDT&E budget. The Navy and Air Force departments requested approximately $ 2.4 billion and $ 2.5 billion for W&T, or 10 and 6 percent of their RDT&E budgets, respectively.

As the Biden team compiles its budget for 2023, it should consider cutting the force structure and shifting more funds to military S&T programs, the report suggested.

“If the Biden government intends to maintain the strategy of deterring high-end conflicts and winning a conflict against a great power, troop cuts should be expected,” the study says. “This would free up resources to get into S&T, and after a few years of high-level research and development budgets, these efforts should mature and be deployed on a large scale, which would increase the procurement budget.”

Subjects: Research and development, science and technology

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