The Democratic 2020 platform, to be considered at this week’s national convention, calls for looking at reduced spending on defense, while ensuring technology investment to “accelerate defense transformation.”

The document sheds some light on former Vice President Joe Biden’s potential defense policy priorities, including ending “the forever wars” and reducing reliance on legacy platforms in favor of capabilities that “meet the threats of the future.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Gage Skidmore.

“We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less. It’s past time to rebalance our investments, improve the efficiency and competitiveness of our defense industrial base, conduct rigorous annual audits of the Pentagon, and end waste and fraud,” the DNC writes in their platform.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate recently released a statement indicating support for looking at reducing the defense budget. However, she voted against a proposed FY ‘21 NDAA amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would have cut DoD’s budget by 10 percent (Defense Daily, Aug. 12). 

While the party doesn’t name specific areas of technology investment, the document does indicate support for new capabilities in areas ranging from “cyber to space, and artificial intelligence to unmanned systems.

“Rather than continuing to rely on legacy platforms that are increasingly exposed and vulnerable, Democrats support funding a more cost-effective, agile, flexible, and resilient force with modern transportation and logistics capabilities that can operate in more contested environments,” the party writes in their platform. 

On the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the platform calls for bringing “nearly two decades of unceasing conflict to an end,” noting that the ongoing conflicts “have cost more than $5 trillion and claimed more than half a million lives.”