Biden’s Dangerous Defense Budget Proposal

Biden’s Dangerous Defense Budget Proposal

There is little doubt that the United States faces unprecedented military threats. Questions are being raised about whether the current and proposed defense budgets reflect the current and prospective challenges.

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va) notes that “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history; we must decide if the United States will retain its global primacy, or if we will concede our position to the malign intent of Communist China. [We must meet] the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.”

Concern over the inadequacy of the Pentagon budget proposed by President Biden last year was reflected in the fact that there was a bipartisan consensus in Congress to add $16.7 billion to the figure he submitted.

Recently, Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have stressed that “ The White House’s proposed figure for the coming year repeats the same poor judgement.” GOP leaders in the Senate state that “As threats to The United States proliferate, President Biden’s defense budget is woefully inadequate. [His] defense budget yet again fails to keep pace with the inflation… His proposed spending increases for the IRS and EPA vastly outpace the Pentagon, all while China continues its torrid pace of military modernization and expansion.”

Think tanks and media analysts concur with concerns about inadequate funding.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board reports that “The White House’s Pentagon’s budget request, which doesn’t account for inflation, results in a 2.8% cut in spending power. At the same time, Biden advocates a 13.6% for both the Education and Energy Departments; 11.5% for Health and Human Services. For all the talk about a bloated Pentagon, defense in 2022 was only about 13% of the federal budget. It’s about 3% of GDP, down from 5% to 6% during the Cold War, even though America’s challenges today are arguably more numerous and acute. China is building a world-class military to drive America out of the Pacific. Russia is committed to grinding down Ukraine and then moving its military to the Polish border; Iran may soon have a nuclear bomb; North Korea is lobbing missiles toward Japan. Hypersonics and missiles threaten the U.S. homeland.”

Similarly, the American Enterprise Institute reviewed unfunded priorities in the proposed budget, which reach $16.9 billion.   “… it is important to note that …the FY2024 lists do not yet include submissions from the Missile Defense Agency and US Cyber Command. … What is surprising is that the [unfunded priorities] do not include what will be necessary budget adjustments to account for realistic inflation projections, which will require at least another $21 billion to keep the budget equal in buying power to the start of FY2021 in September 2020.”

The United States Navy has been hit hard by underfunding at precisely the time when China and Russia have made serious bids to challenge it across the globe.

Author Jerry Hendrix, in his Atlantic study published in March, warns that, starting with the Obama Administration, “both China and Russia developed systems that would challenge the U.S.-led regime of global free trade on the high seas. Russia began to invest in highly sophisticated nuclear-powered submarines with the intention of being able to disrupt the oceanic link between NATO nations in Europe and North America. China, which for a time enjoyed double-digit GDP growth, expanded both its commercial and naval shipbuilding capacities. It tripled the size of the People’s Liberation Army-Navy and invested in long-range sensors and missiles that could allow it to interdict commercial and military ships more than 1,000 miles from its shores. Both Russia and China also sought to extend territorial claims into international waters, the aim being to control the free passage of shipping near their shores and in their perceived spheres of influence. In short: Autocratic powers are trying to close the global commons.”

The nuclear threat is accelerating rapidly. China Is on pace To triple Its nuclear arsenal To 1,500 Warheads By 2035. Russia’s atomic weaponry already surpasses America’s in both numbers and modernization.

The White Houses’ proposed defense budget place the United States in immediate danger.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government

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