Mad Dog gets some Mad Money

| July 11, 2017 | 18 Comments

In an unprecedented move, Congress has effectively given Sec/Def Jim Mattis $28.6 billion in Mad Money over and above the regular $658.1 billion defense budget, with few real strings attached. Theoretically, he’s required to give Congress a fifteen day notice before he actually disburses any of the funds but as Sydney Freedberg, writing for Breaking Defense, notes, blocking a specific expenditure would require new legislation and Congress simply lacks the ability to move that fast.

While $28.6 billion seems small potatoes juxtaposed against that total budget, consider that it could buy a few squadrons of the new F-35B Lightning II fighter as well as a couple of Landing Helicopter Carriers or Amphibious Assault Ships to serve as mobile bases for those fighters, greatly expanding America’s ability to extend her power and influence in B-level hot spots around the world without bringing in a huge super carrier task force. Or ponder that in an outbreak of major conflict, we could be stinging our enemies with our fifth generation fighters from multitudes of floating bases rather than our obvious, easily targeted carrier task forces. Look at it as smacking our enemies with a smaller, yet every bit as persuasive, mailed fist.

Freedberg has a lot of informative graphs about military spending and how this much needed bit of congressional lagniappe could effect it accompanying his article so go there and take a look. It’s an informative read for those who follow defense spending.

Crossposted at American Thinker

Category: Politics

Comments (18)

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  1. Sapper3307 says:

    25.6 million, now we can fix the air conditioners’ in the barracks.

  2. Gravel says:

    At 5 Billion for a wasted effort on Army uniforms that 28.6 Billion won’t last long.

  3. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    A chunk of that dinero could be used to rebuild a lot of equipment that was neglected via lack of maintenance from about say, 2008-2016.

    • CCO says:

      Probably the easiest and might be the wisest thing to do: Everyone’s maintenance budget just went up 3.5 %. And hold back half a percent (3.29 billion!!!!) for the future.

      • Hondo says:

        Depending on the “color” of money Congress specified (O&M, MilPay, Procurement, R&D, or Construction), that might not be possible. And unless its Construction $$$, 3 years is the max possible – and only then for Procurement funding. R&D has a 2-year max, and O&M and MilPay have to be obligated the same year they’re appropriated.

  4. CCO says:

    A 5 percent (ok, 4) “here take this and spend it wisely” is…wow.

  5. Fjardeson says:

    Rebuild every usable A-10, and train more pilots and aircrews!

  6. LC says:

    In other Mattis news, a high school kid dialed up his private number after it was accidentally revealed via a press corps picture:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/high-school-student-lands-wide-ranging-interview-us/story?id=48551204

    And the interview itself, which is well worth a read:
    http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

    Good on the kid for the initiative, and good on GEN Mattis for his attitude – helping out a high school kid and choosing him over the throng of reporters that must have called him is awesome.

  7. 26Limabeans says:

    Evil Knevil would have loved that carrier deck.
    I’ll bet he could clear a frigate crossing the bow with that ramp.

  8. Texas Nomad says:

    In no other branch of government would this ever resemble anything like a good idea. Mattis is going to need to double his security detail to keep defense contractors and lobbyists away.

  9. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Maybe they can run another production line of Tomahawk missiles, considering we’re supposed to run out of them in another year or so.

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