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Weekly Debrief #50

Aarzu Maknojia, Friday, October 30, 2020

1. A 'Big Fight Coming' Over Defense Budget if Dems Sweep Election, Lawmaker Says

( The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith says he opposes proposals by progressive Democrats to cut the Pentagon budget by as much as 20% if that party takes the House, Senate and White House on Election Day. He said he is "open to debate" on the subject of Defense Department funding but favors a flat budget or slight reductions over massive cuts designed to shift money to other federal programs.

2. Space Force Establishes the First of Three Field Commands

(Defense News) The U.S. Space Force officially has its first field command, after redesignating Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado as the new headquarters of Space Operations Command during an Oct. 21 ceremony. Space Operations Command (SpOC) is one of three commands that the Space Force is establishing and will oversee the operations of the nation's military satellites.

3. Secretary Esper Discusses Readiness and Modernization at the Heritage Foundation

(DoD) In an interview with the Heritage Foundation, Secretary Esper pleaded, "We need predictable, adequate, stable, and timely federal budgets to continue to support the investments of our industrial base, to grow our capabilities, and to further strengthen readiness. I would like to see 3-5% annual real growth for the Defense Department to stay ahead of the challenges we face, especially from China, and no more CRs!"

4. Securing our Supply Chain Requires 'Big Picture' Thinking

(The Hill) To both remain competitive while keep in mind economic and national security needs, the U.S. must undertake a concerted effort to address its supply chain vulnerabilities and dependencies in critical areas. This includes the both the sourcing of goods and their flow through the complete international trade system. The author provides a few ideas how including: risk-based prioritization, targeted investment, supply chain coalitions, and trade reform.

5. CR Even a Worse Idea During a Pandemic

(NDIA) With a CR passing without a relief package, many significant funding levels are in a holding pattern including for Operation Warp Speed, the Pentagon’s vaccine program; programs specific to coronavirus through the National Institutes of Health; and opportunities for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loans. This means no budget stability and negatively impacts small businesses.
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