Pentagon announces record budget in 2023 for Ukraine assistance and build-up to Russia
US President Joe Biden has proposed the largest-ever military budget, asking Congress for $813.3 billion in the coming year – $31 billion more than the budget approved for 2022. Lawmakers are likely to add even more funding, as representatives from both parties have complained it doesn’t go far enough because of inflation.
“I’m calling for one of the largest investments in our national security in history, with the funds needed to ensure that our military remains the best-prepared, best-trained, best-equipped military in the world,”Biden stated this in a Monday statement.
Although the budget proposal is the largest in US history in dollars, it will be inflation adjusted to reflect a 1.5% rise rather than the nominal 4 percent. Politico reports that both Republicans and Democrats have called for an additional 5-7%. Congress approved $782 billion to fund the current fiscal year.
White House Draft calls for $773 billion to be used by the Pentagon, and the remainder going to the Department of Energy which manages America’s nuclear arsenal.
Biden asks for $682million more for Ukraine “to counter Russian malign influence and to meet emerging needs related to security, energy, cybersecurity issues, disinformation, macroeconomic stabilization, and civil society resilience,” a budget document says.
Stars and Stripes has reported that Russia did not send troops into Ukraine in response to the present conflict. They also cited an official at the Pentagon.
With some branches of the service being reduced and others increasing strength, an active-duty force estimated at 1.32 million is envisaged in the budget. Air Force would be able to add close to 100 personnel and Space Force nearly 200, respectively, and Army, Navy, and Marines combined would cut around 4,300.
Researchers and developers funding would be increased by 9.5% to reach $130.1 trillion, which is the highest-ever increase. The largest pay increase in twenty years would be given to military personnel and civilian Pentagon workers.
Big-ticket purchases include two Virginia-class submarines, more funding for the development of Northrop Grumman’s B-21 bomber, and a smaller purchase of F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin than envisioned previously, according to Bloomberg.
While the budget wants $6.9 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative — almost double from the $3.6 billion request in 2022 – and $1.8 billion for expanding the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific, the base upgrade budget for facilities facing China came in at $451 million, compared to $245 requested for Europe.
Biden ordered the total withdrawal from Afghanistan of all US troops last August. He argued that Afghanistan’s 20-year war was too costly in American lives and money. Two weeks prior to American soldiers leaving Kabul, the US-backed government surrendered in Kabul.