Biden signs $768bn military spending bill — Analysis

The bill allocates $300 Million in security assistance to Ukraine amid rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The US President Joe Biden signed the $768 billion Defense Package into Law. This bill approves an increase in military expenditures and sets aside billions to support security measures against Moscow and Beijing.

Biden signed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Monday, marking a $25 billion increase over the president’s original proposal and authorizing a 5% boost in US military spending over the prior year. 

Supporters in the Senate claim that the huge spending package will include $300 million for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative. It is expected to be used, they say, to train and equip Ukrainian forces to fight alleged terrorist attacks. “Russian aggression.”An additional $150 million has been earmarked “Baltic security cooperation” – another project aimed at deterring Moscow – while a larger sum of $4 billion will be spent on the European Defense Initiative, meant to bolster Washington’s NATO allies.

US threatens Russia with unprecedented sanctions

Washington accuses Russia, alongside several other west nations, of building forces at its Ukraine border. Kamala Harris from the US threatened with a boycott. “sanctions like you’ve not seen before”Russia should make any move to invade its neighbor over the weekend. Though Moscow insists it has no interest in an invasion, it has similarly warned against further NATO expansion into Eastern Europe – deeming the issue a matter of “life and death” for Russia – while also denouncing Western involvement in Ukraine, where the US supported the 2014 ‘Euromaidan’ coup.

In line with the Biden administration’s growing military focus on China, the new NDAA also includes a $7.4 billion allocation to the “Pacific Deterrence Initiative” and a statement of support for the defense of Taiwan – which Beijing considers part of its own territory. The bill also prohibited the US military from supplying gear from China’s Xinjiang region, citing allegations of forced labor there. 

Though Biden’s slightly cheaper spending proposal was rejected by lawmakers over concerns the US military could soon lag behind adversaries, as of last year the United States continued to spend more on its armed forces than the next 11 largest militaries combined worldwide, including China’s and Russia’s, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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