Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) talks with military families about their hazardous living conditions during a meeting at the Peninsula Workforce Development Office in Newport News, Virginia, U.S. March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Ryan M. Kelly
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Sen. Mark Warner is all for defense modernization.This battle between past and future is the hidden drama within the gargantuan $750 billion fiscal 2020 defense budget proposal.Yes, the Navy wants to add two new carriers while dropping the Truman, but it also proposes to build two big drone warships and some unmanned subs.Take, for example, "hypersonic" weapons, the bright shiny objects (literally and figuratively) that will be streaking across Pentagon skies. The 2020 budget proposes to increase spending on hypersonic weapons to $2.6 billion from $2.4 billion (good), but gives the Army, Navy and Air Force their own hypersonic systems (crazy). Pentagon old-timers recall the battle in the 1950s between Army and Air Force generals about whether missiles were munitions or air weapons.The Pentagon seems interested, but Congress will have the final say.The Pentagon can't have everything it wants, and the danger is that when it's time to start cutting, the military-industrial-congressional complex will jettison the new weapons we need to keep the old ones we don't.
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