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Biden's defense budget seeks greater China deterrence and nuclear funding

Berita 24 English -   According to people familiar with the budget, US President Joe Biden's $715 billion Department of Defense budget w...

Berita 24 English -
  According to people familiar with the budget, US President Joe Biden's $715 billion Department of Defense budget will reallocate funding from legacy systems to help modernize the nuclear arsenal and deter China while also developing future warfare capabilities.

The defence spending request, which will be submitted to Congress on Friday, is expected to include investments in troop readiness, space, the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which is intended to counter China's military buildup in the region, and nuclear weapons technology, according to the people.

The budget request includes funds to purchase ships and jets, as well as maintenance and salaries. Still, an additional $38 billion is earmarked for defence-related programs at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Energy, and other agencies, bringing the national security budget to $753 billion, a 1.7 per cent increase over the 2021 level.

Additionally, money will be allocated to continue developing and testing hypersonic weapons and other "next-generation" weapon systems as the military seeks to develop capabilities to counter Russia and China.

Presidents' budget requests, including military requests, are frequently used as a starting point for negotiations with Congress, ultimately determining how funds are spent.

The Pacific Deterrence Initiative, launched in response to China, is focused on competition in the Indo-Pacific region and aims to strengthen US preparedness in the region by funding radars, satellites, and missile systems.

To pay for this, sources familiar with the shift said, the Pentagon is looking to divest some of its older, more expensive equipment, including four Littoral Combat Ships, several A-10 aircraft that provides close air support to ground troops, and the number of KC-10 and KC-135 planes in the mid-air refuelling fleets.

US military planners are concerned about tensions with an increasingly assertive China. Beijing accused the US of endangering the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait last week after another US warship sailed through the sensitive waterway.

According to the people, the US Army's troop goal in the budget was reduced very slightly.

"If deterrence is to endure, we must modernize, and if confirmed, I will seek to accelerate and scale-up innovation in our force," Kathleen Hicks testified in February before her confirmation as deputy secretary of defence.

According to the people, the Biden administration will request 85 stealthy F-35 fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin among the competing priorities at the Pentagon. The presidential budget proposals for 2021 and 2020 requested 79 and 78 of the jets, respectively; Congress ultimately authorized additional fighters. Senators and governors have stepped forward to defend the jet, which boasts a sizable industrial base.

The United States Navy's shipbuilding plan, released in the final months of the Trump administration, included a budget request for 12 new surface combatant ships in 2022. However, the people said, Biden's request includes only eight new warships.

Despite the reduction of numbers from older systems, the Biden administration will continue to invest in modernizing the US nuclear triad, a costly endeavour that will cost an average of more than $60 billion per year on average over the next decade and more than a trillion dollars in total, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The funding will be used to enhance nuclear command and control capabilities and delivery platforms such as the Columbia Class nuclear submarine built by Huntington Ingalls Industries and General Dynamics and the certification of stealthy F-35 jet fighters to carry nuclear bombs.

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