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James Mattis’ Memo Eyes FY 2017 Budget Amendment to Address Warfighting Readiness

James Mattis

Defense Secretary James Mattis has issued a memo that outlines a spending plan that seeks to prioritize near-term readiness and postpone equipment modernization efforts until 2019, Breaking Defense reported Wednesday.

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. writes the Defense Department will submit to the Office of Management and Budget by March 1 its fiscal year 2017 budget amendment request that aims to address “urgent warfighting readiness shortfalls” and requirements related to the campaign against the Islamic State militant organization.

The FY 2017 amendment may include a rise in force structure in areas that would have an impact on immediate readiness efforts.

The memo states that DoD will submit to OMB by May 1 its proposed budget for FY 2018 that seeks to rebuild readiness, address programmatic shortfalls and balance the program such as an increase in the force’s size at the “maximum responsible rate.”

The document also authorizes Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work to prepare the FY 2017 budget amendment and FY 2018 budget request, Freedberg reports.

The Pentagon will draft the National Defense Strategy in 2018 and a defense program for FY 2019 through 2023 with a focus on efforts to increase the joint force’s lethality against high-end rivals and potential threats and advance investments in the development of new capabilities, the report added.

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