I can see a President Trump providing top cover…to hold contractors’ feet to the fire.” — Doug BerensonIn “Trump on Defense Spending: When Public Naming Meets Secret Weapons,” the Wall Street Journal highlights that President-elect Trump’s efforts to curb defense spending by publicly shaming specific companies will prove more difficult once he turns attention to one of the fastest-growing areas of the military budget: classified programs. Classified programs are estimated to use 11% of the 2017 Pentagon budget at $62.2 billion, compared with 9% five years ago. The Wall Street Journal noted that these programs are often the riskiest and most complex because of their use of cutting-edge technology, which makes them more prone to delays and cost overruns, but also the most difficult to discuss publicly.
Doug Cameron of the Wall Street Journal spoke to Doug Berenson, Avascent Managing Director, for the piece with Berenson noting that the relative value for money of classified projects can only be guessed at by outsiders. Additionally, the article noted that some experts said that Trump’s offensive against defense companies could help the Pentagon’s own efforts to improve efficiency, even if he were to keep details spare on classified programs, with Berenson adding “I can see a President Trump providing top cover…to hold contractors’ feet to the fire.
Read the full article here. (Subscription required.)