Biden says he’s not planning major defense cuts
Joe Biden does not foresee major budget cuts at the Pentagon if elected president and in fact thinks certain areas of defense spending need to be increased.
In an interview with the Stars & Stripes newspaper published on Thursday, the Democratic Party presidential candidate said he would like to see the United States reduce its military presence in the Middle East, but given the threats the country faces, he would not support efforts to drastically cut defense spending.
“I do not think so [budget cuts] are inevitable, but we need priorities in the budget,” Biden told the newspaper.
Biden’s comments should reassure defense investors worried about how the November election could affect Pentagon spending. Defense leaders have signaled that after years of steady increases, they expect the budget to plateau in the coming years, and there is some concern pandemic expenses could impose bigger budget cuts than expected.
Defense contractors and their investors are prepared for a fixed budget, but not a massive cut.
Biden said he would push for continued military modernization, including efforts to upgrade technology, strengthen cybersecurity and develop drones and other autonomous vehicles. Additional funding in these areas would be a potential boost for a wide range of defense contractors, titans including Northrop Grumman (NOC -0.48%) to small businesses such as Leidos Holdings (LDOS 0.33%) and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions (KTOS 2.61%).
“We need to focus more on unmanned capability, cyber and computing, in a very modern, rapidly changing world,” the former vice president said. “I have met with a number of my advisers, and some have suggested that in certain areas the budget will need to be increased.”