Wall St. Journal Weighs in on NDAA

Dec 10, 2020
Defense Drumbeat

WASHINGTON, DC -This week the Wall St. Journal weighed in on President Trump’s threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, and the harm it could do to America’s Troops and security.

“President Trump deserves credit for rebuilding America’s armed forces, so it’s a pity his parting shot is a veto spectacle over a defense policy bill. Mr. Trump won’t extract what he wants but he might harm some of his own priorities with friendly fire.

“Congress this week is voting on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy outlines for the military and national security. This year’s iteration includes several good provisions toughening U.S. China policy. One establishes a Pacific Deterrence Initiative that authorizes $2.2 billion for, among other things, putting more military assets in China’s backyard and conducting exercises with allies.

The bill also authorizes programs for overhauling an aging nuclear deterrent, a Trump priority. “We cannot overemphasize the immediate need to modernize our nuclear delivery systems and stockpile,” civilian and uniformed defense officialstold the Senate in testimony in September. They warned that “decades of deferred investments in nuclear warheads” and surrounding infrastructure has stretched systems “well beyond their original service lives.”…

“A particular headache is that hazard pay and certain other types of special pay for service members expires at the end of the year. According to estimates provided to us by the House Armed Services Committee, a lapse in January would put at risk the hazard pay received by nearly 250,000 service members. The media will inevitably blame Republicans.

“Making the Pentagon wait on politics to get going on projects also inevitably results in the delays and inefficiencies that Mr. Trump has rightly criticized. The larger risk of failure now is that come JanuaryJoe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will remake the outline in ways that weaken the nation’s defenses.”

116th Congress