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 Home > News & Policies > August 2004

Revitalizing National Defense Fact Sheet

Over the past year, the Secretary of Defense has led efforts to transform the way U.S. military forces defend the country while also addressing long-standing management problems at DoD. The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, underscored the urgency of Secretary Rumsfeld's effort.

The new security environment requires a military force that is balanced to counter both conventional and unconventional threats and is armed with strong intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities. Even so, intelligence gaps will persist, so innovation must be factored into our defense planning and response.

The future, both near- and long-term, presents numerous challenges and great opportunity. When President Bush took office, he inherited a defense program that needed to be strengthened.

As a percentage of the nation's gross domestic product, defense expenditures had shrunk to 2.8 percent. Inadequate funding strained both equipment and people. Recognizing these deficiencies, President Bush provided significant increased resources for defense in 2002.

Much remains to be done. In a post-Cold War world, where freedom and democracy remain imperiled, this budget lays the groundwork for a sustained, long-term investment in the nation's security. The United States must strengthen its defense posture to protect the nation's interests and to assure its lead role in global affairs.

A war on terrorism has begun, and while there has been success in achieving specific military objectives, the shape and dimension of the subsequent phases of the campaign will remain a work in progress for some time to come.

The President's 2003 Budget for DoD and the intelligence community reflects the Administration's strong commitment to winning the war on terrorism, sustaining current military readiness, transforming the way the nation defends itself, and enhancing American intelligence capabilities.

To address these needs the President's Budget proposes $369 billion in 2003 for DoD and an additional $10 billion, if needed, to fight the war on terrorism.