Esper told attendees at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California that the DoD reduced up to $5 billion over the past four months as part of the zero-based review process, which seeks to align spending with the National Defense Strategy. He added that the Pentagon redirected spending from lower priority programs and will expand the review to other military focus areas.
“This is just the beginning,” he said. “I expect every leader in every service and the office of the secretary of defense and the joint staff and in the combatant commands to review their budgets with the same rigor and to reprioritize to support the National Defense Strategy.”
The new review process, led by Deputy Defense Secretary and fellow 2019 Wash100 winner David Norquist, initially focused on spending for fourth estate agencies and covered a period spanning 2021 to 2025.