WASHINGTON -- Lt. Gen. Tom Spoehr, director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for National Defense, and Frederico Bartels, policy analyst for defense budgeting, responded Tuesday to the final 2020 NDAA conference report:
“The primary focus of the NDAA should be providing the U.S. military the tools necessary to advance America’s vital national security interests. Fortunately, the final conference report of the 2020 NDAA largely does so and it avoids many of the concerning and damaging provisions present in previous versions.
“On the positive side, the conference report maintains many of the policies the Trump administration is implementing to improve the U.S. military. The report enables an increase in F-35A production; creates the Space Force under the Air Force with minimum new overhead; does not prohibit the deployment of low-yield nuclear weapons; and offers strong support for European defense and Hong Kong protestors. Negotiators were also wise to remove provisions limiting the administration’s ability to defend the U.S. against Iran, curtailing aid to Saudi Arabia’s efforts against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, and overturning the administration’s new policy on transgender service.
“Unfortunately, among other things, the final report authorizes the unnecessary purchase of eight F-15EX aircraft, and prohibits the procurement and deployment of new ground-launched INF-range missiles.
“Ultimately, the Trump administration should continue providing strong leadership in rebuilding the U.S. military, and Congress must continue to give it the tools it needs to keep our nation secure.”