The defense budget is approaching $1 trillion, focusing on China as a target

Defense Budget

The administration is asking Congress for $842 billion for the Pentagon in the 2024 budget.

Defense Budget

It is the largest request since the peak of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the mid-2000s when the weight of hundreds of thousands of troops was deployed in the conflict. these people in other countries. Foreign military spending has been spent. The Pentagon plans to build up advanced weapons, space defenses, and modern jets to its massive defense arsenal over several decades to counter the threat it faces from China. The budget would put the military’s annual budget over the $1 trillion threshold within a few years, its chief financial officer said Monday.

The administration is asking Congress for $842 billion for the Pentagon in the fiscal year 2024. This is the most important thing since the highest war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the middle of the year 2000 when the weight of hundreds of thousands of soldiers has been put in those conflicts and the overseas balloon is spending a stranger.

Now the budget can increase again. This is in part to deal with the high cost of weapons and parts, but also to address the weaknesses that the war in Ukraine exposed in the American defense industry and the serious threat that the United States poses to China’s nuclear weapons fast-growing, hypersonic. power and space.

Even if it increases to account for inflation, “the budget will fall a trillion dollars,” perhaps before the next five years, Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said in a press conference. “Maybe this will be a big change of mind for most of us or some of us, but it is inevitable.” Although that number seems high, it represents about 3 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. By comparison, during World War II the country spent about a third of its GDP on defense, McCord said. The budget request is part of the $6.8 trillion budget proposal that Biden presented last week, which Republicans said they would reject. But it’s not clear how they will play into the Pentagon’s plans.

Some Republicans want to pass the requirement for military spending. But some also want deep cuts in federal spending — something that will be difficult to achieve without hitting the defense budget.

Although personnel and wages are still the largest part of the annual defense budget, Undersecretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks called this year’s request a “procurement budget,” with the Pentagon increasing purchases in all areas of the procurement system. modern warfare. One of the most important innovations is the acquisition of the US defense industrial base to increase the production of weapons. Ukraine’s rate of use of 155 howitzer rounds and other precision weapons shows that the base of the US defense industry “is not where it should be,” McCord said.

It’s a lesson learned over the past year, especially as the United States considers how best to prevent a similar attack against Taiwan, potentially against China. The purpose of the budget is to ensure that China “wakes up every day, considers the risk of violence and concludes, ‘Today is not that day,'” Hicks said.

For example, the administration is asking Congress for $30 billion to develop more weapons. But those aren’t “the main type of missiles for the fight against Ukraine,” McCord said. “These are the main deterrents of the Indo-Pacific,” a target that includes air and surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and long-range missiles. The Pentagon is also looking to rapidly improve its air, space, and nuclear weapons. The request includes nearly $38 billion to buy new nuclear submarines, deploy new B-21 stealth bombers and build a new land-based intercontinental ballistic missile.

The request will also support the research and testing of a new type of aircraft, called Next Generation Air Dominance, which will have modern fighter jets, such as the F-35, commanding unmanned drones along on the journey. The Air Force won’t say much about the drones, which they call “alliance military aircraft” — except that they plan to deploy 1,000 of them. The request includes “the biggest opportunity budget of all time”, said McCord, as the gap has been shown to be important in the war in Ukraine and in the face of any future conflict.

The Pentagon is seeking $33 billion to make its satellite communications more resistant to interception or attack and to develop a new missile warning system to help detect, track and defend against a new generation of Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles. . Even the Chinese spy balloon event had an impact, although the budget request was completed before the balloon was discovered, overran the country and was shot down. The Pentagon is looking for about 90 million dollars to add the ability to detect similar objects in the atmosphere in the future.

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