Defense Budget Prioritizes Chinese Threat, Includes No New Weaponry for Ukraine | The New York Sun

The Pentagon’s 2024 defense budget, which the Biden administration sent to Congress on Monday, includes $315 billion to develop and buy new weapons and prioritizes countering the threat from Communist China. It notably allocates no additional budget or weaponry for Ukraine. 

In a press statement about the budget, the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, said that “as the PRC races to modernize its military, this budget will sharpen our edge by making critical investments across all timeframes, theaters, and domains.”

What Mr. Austin terms “the Russia challenge in Europe” is the second order of priority after “deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary — prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific region.”

Mr. Austin added that “to sustain our military advantage over China,” the 2024 budget “makes major investments in integrated air and missile defenses and operational energy efficiency, as well as in our air dominance, our maritime dominance, and in munitions, including hypersonics.” He mentioned that it includes the largest ever request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which is intended to enable “a more resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific region.”

While investments in development will amount to $145 billion, $170 billion is to be allocated for purchases — which according to a defense industry publication, Defense One, is the Pentagon’s largest ever request, and will cover the simultaneous purchase of new bombers, ICBMs, and ballistic missile submarines that make up the nuclear triad.

With the exception of $300 million in security assistance for Ukraine, the budget includes no money or new weapons for Ukraine next year. A senior defense official told Defense One that if Ukraine “is still an ongoing issue in ’24, we would expect to handle that by contingency or supplemental funding.”

While that assessment is not an official policy statement, it does point to the hopes of some in Washington that hostilities between Moscow and Kyiv could wind down by the end of the year.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Biden administration has committed more than $31 billion in security assistance to Ukraine. The Pentagon’s total share of the fiscal 2024 budget request that was sent to lawmakers on Monday is $842 billion, which represents an increase of $26 billion over fiscal year 2023 levels and $100 billion more than fiscal year 2022.

America’s military and financial support for Ukraine has been steadfast and still outpaces that of any other country by far. 

Far more money will go to the Air Force and Navy than to the Army. The 2024 budget calls for $61.1 billion for air power with a focus on fighters and unmanned aircraft systems.

Nearly $50 billion will shore up sea power, including “new construction of nine battle force fleet ships and continued funding for the incremental construction of Ford class nuclear powered aircraft carriers and Columbia ballistic missile submarines,” according to the Department of Defense.

The Pentagon will invest $52.8 billion in Navy readiness, $28.8 billion in Army readiness, and $39.9 billion in Air Force readiness. 

The budget includes an investment of $601 million for America’s military contribution to NATO and a 5.2 percent pay increase for military and civilian personnel across the board, representing the highest pay raise in more than 20 years for the military.

Another noteworthy feature of the budget request is the inclusion of $30.6 billion for munitions, which is an increase of $5.8 billion above last year’s request. It is to cover both conventional ammunition and precision guided munitions. 

According to the Pentagon the fiscal year 2024 defense budget will help position the Department of Defense “to best support its people and allies through a “decisive decade,” and ensure that America is ready “to meet the challenges of today, tomorrow and into the future.”

2023-03-14 02:52:18 ,

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