The United States Congress generally does not have a hard time agreeing on defense spending, largely because its members are convinced that increasing the funds of the Pentagon allows it to better answer to the challenges of safety. But The New York Times believes that this time, it's harder to come up with a general agreement for an increase, especially among the Republicans who control both houses of Congress. The “hawks” of the elephant party think that it's natural to use the emergency funds that were created to finance the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq. But for other Republicans, this use of the “off budget” (not accounted for in the annual budget) would be treason to the 2011 agreement reached between Barack Obama and the Republicans, which aimed to reduce the $1.2 trillion budget over 10 years. Cuts that were supposed to also apply to the Defense Department.

Facing new threats, Republicans and Democrats wish to further increase the defense budget by $100 billion (while the ceiling currently set at $500 billion a year has already been exceeded in the 2015-16 Obama budget). That explains this debate. For there is a risk of using the special funds for wars that could become permanent and create a precedent for other spending. What also remains is the fact that spending — like that for the F-35 fighter jet known for serial failures — is not always justified during the war against the Islamic State. For The New York Times, one needs a serious and transparent debate if members of Congress want to increase the defense budget.