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At a time when Vladimir Putin starts a war with Ukraine and threatens attacks against the West, the Biden administration chooses a military budget that could leave the current security of the United States vulnerable.
Some media claim that this is a “defense budget expansion” by Biden; however, the amount established would be destined more for a long-term defense system and not to attend an eventual war around the corner.
In short, Biden wants an Army that could win a war in 10 years, but not one that can win a war today.
Among the budget’s top priorities are shipbuilding, developing space capabilities, missile warning and modernizing the nuclear “triad” of ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.
“If lawmakers don’t intervene, the U.S. may not be ready for the next war until a decade after it is lost,” the Wall Street Journal warned in an editorial.
The Pentagon is seeking $773 billion for fiscal year 2023, with national defense expenditure reaching $813 billion if other accounts are included; however, defense officials say the Pentagon will only see a 1.5% real increase over last year’s funding after inflation.
“Defense spending will continue to account for about 3.1% of the economy, near post-Cold War lows, and trending downwards over the next decade,” the newspaper indicates.
The analysis notes that “Biden’s team is betting on weapons that don’t yet exist for a war they expect to come on someone else’s watch”; meaning that the Democratic administration would not be contemplating the possibility of escalation from hostile countries like Russia that constantly threaten NATO.
“They want to save money now to spend on what they say will be a more modern force a decade from now,” the paper notes.
A military budget with an eye on the long term
Biden is earmarking $130 billion for research and development, including crucial efforts in artificial intelligence and 5G applications, also $24.7 billion for missile defense, and $27.6 billion for space capabilities; however, to equip agencies like the Navy or the Marine Corps there appears to be not enough budget.
“The U.S. Navy, with 298 ships, would buy only nine ships next year and retire 24. The fleet would shrink to 280 ships by 2027, even as the Navy says it needs a fleet of 500 to defeat China in a conflict. This trend will not impress Xi Jinping, who has his sights set on Taiwan,” the paper says.
“The Air Force is now the smallest, oldest and least ready it has ever been in its 75-year history,” the Air Force Association said this week, but the Pentagon plans to cut back on buying F-35 fighters this year even though they have ordered 33 such aircraft.
“The Air Force also wants to retire much of its aging airborne warning and control (Awacs) fleet without a replacement on hand, but this capability is essential for air dominance in any conflict,” the WSJ notes.
More money for climate fighters and not for the Army.
Biden has set about $3.1 billion in his budget that he will earmark for climate change. He would rather endow and create a Civilian Climate Corps than get more personnel for the Marine Corps.
“The country needs that offensive power more than it needs electric vans,” notes the WSJ.
There will be no persuading Putin
Vladimir Putin has already threatened to use nuclear weapons if he ever feels threatened, and under the circumstances, Biden still appears to have cancelled a program to develop a sea-launched nuclear cruise missile, a weapon designed to deter threats such as Putin’s.
Sabrina Martín Rondon is a Venezuelan journalist. Her source is politics and economics. She is a specialist in corporate communications and is committed to the task of dismantling the supposed benefits of socialism // Sabrina Martín Rondon es periodista venezolana. Su fuente es la política y economía. Es especialista en comunicaciones corporativas y se ha comprometido con la tarea de desmontar las supuestas bondades del socialismo