HomeLatest News & UpdatesBiden wants $886 billion defense budget with eyes on Ukraine and future...
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Biden wants $886 billion defense budget with eyes on Ukraine and future wars – World IV News

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WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden’s biggest peacetime defense budget request of $886 billion includes a 5.2% pay rise for troops and the largest allocation for research and development, as Russia’s war against Ukraine fueled demand for more spending on munitions.

Biden’s request earmarks $842 billion for the Pentagon and $44 billion for defense-related programs at the FBI, Energy Department and other agencies. The total amount of the proposed budget for 2024 is $28 billion more than last year’s $858 billion.

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Congress has signaled, as it often does, that it will increase defense spending at Biden’s request during the month-long budget process that request begins. Congress has passed annual defense budgets for more than 60 years.

Congress and the administration are both eyeing a potentially protracted war in Ukraine and potential future conflicts with Russia and China.

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“Our biggest measure of success, and the one we use most often around here, is to make sure that the leadership of the PRC (Republic of China) wakes up every day, considers the threat of aggression, and concludes, ‘Today is not the day.’ ,’” Assistant Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said Monday.

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US-China relations have become highly contentious on issues ranging from trade to intelligence, as the two countries increasingly vie for influence in parts of the world far beyond their own borders.

“This top-line request serves as a useful starting point,” said Sen. Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, as the budget figures were released Thursday.

The budget will be the first to procure missiles and other munitions under multi-year contracts, something that is customary for aircraft and ships, as the Pentagon signals continued demand from major weapons manufacturers such as Raytheon Technologies Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp and Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings. Inc.

The Ukraine war has shown the U.S. military that it needs to make larger quantities of certain types of weapons, which helped explain years of deals for weapons that could potentially also be used in a military conflict with China.

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Advanced missiles

The budget increases the acquisition of advanced missiles such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) and the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM). They “are for a broader policy – for a higher struggle.” These are not ground-based munitions,” like those used in Ukraine, a senior US defense official said.

So far, funds to replenish missiles sent to Ukraine, including the JAVELIN and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), have been handled by $35.7 billion in additional funds set for 2022. Pentagon assistance to Ukraine in budget is the same as last year. If more funding is needed for Ukraine, a senior defense official said, another supplemental request could be negotiated.

The 2024 budget boasts a record amount of research and development funding for the Pentagon – $145 billion earmarked for developing new weapons such as hypersonic missiles, which are launched into the upper atmosphere and can evade even sophisticated radar systems. Russia has used these missiles in Ukraine.

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Biden’s budget request also accelerates the Defense Department’s pace of purchasing the stealth F-35 fighter jet to 83. The F-35 is the Pentagon’s largest weapons program and will be the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for the foreseeable future.

The 2023 budget request called for 61 F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin, and Congress increased that number to 77.

Among other priorities for this budget are the modernization of the nuclear “triangle” of US missile submarines, ballistic missiles and surface-to-surface missiles, shipbuilding and the development of space equipment.

The budget would benefit the largest US defense contractors, including Lockheed, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman Corp and General Dynamics Corp.

Some of that investment is being funded by asking to retire equipment and older aircraft like A-10 Warthogs, which the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year has made less necessary because they are more vulnerable to more sophisticated adversaries.


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