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PCB-July2017

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12 The PCB Magazine • July 2017 Defense Budget Analysis: Patience is a Virtue FEATURE COLUMN: MIL/AERO MARKETS Patience may be the most necessary watch- word for proponents of significant growth in the budget for the U.S. military. The historic in- creases in defense spending promised by Presi- dent Trump on the campaign trail won't come immediately, but it is likely that Congress will find ways to provide solid increases to the Pen- tagon's budget, particularly in 2019 and be- yond. Whenever I want to dig deep into the com- plexities of the Defense budget, my first call is always to Brian Friel of Nation Analytics. Pri- or to launching Nation Analytics, Brian was a senior contract analyst at Bloomberg Govern- ment, where he spearheaded IDIQ research and created the BGOV200 [1] annual ranking of feder- al contractors. Brian lives and breathes defense budget analysis and is an invaluable resource. As reflected in the following summary, Brian and I had the opportunity to get together re- cently and discuss the Defense budget status and the relat- ed funding mechanisms at length. The administration has proposed a 7% year- over-year increase to the topline defense bud- get—that includes base, overseas contingency operations (OCO) and supplemental funding— for fiscal 2018, for a total of $639.1 billion. That falls far short of many defense hawks' views of needed increases, but it nonetheless represents a turnaround from the tight budgets that Con- gress has enacted for Defense since 2013. Tight spending caps under the 2011 Bud- get Control Act have governed defense spend- ing since 2013, when sequestration allowed for only $577.6 billion in topline budget authori- ty for the Pentagon. That total was a dramat- ic drop from the prior five years. From 2008 to 2012, the Defense budget averaged $671.1 bil- lion and never dropped below $645 billion. The austere budget for 2013 has carried on since, reaching its low in fiscal 2015 at $560.4 billion. The topline has crawled back up by a bit over 3% per year, to $590.4 billion in en- acted budget authority for fiscal 2017. by John Vaughan, ZENTECH MANUFACTURING, with Brian Friel, NATION ANALYTICS

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