Tags: russia | ukraine | us | missiles | biden | pentagon

Report: Russia-Ukraine War Played Big Role in Expanding US Military Budget

By    |   Sunday, 18 December 2022 10:46 AM EST

The lame-duck, Democrat-controlled Congress is moving toward the approval of a national military budget of approximately $858 billion for the current fiscal year — or $45 billion above President Joe Biden's initial request — due to "growing military threats" from China and Russia, according to The New York Times.

Presuming the Pentagon's budget stays at the reported level, it would represent a 4.3% increase from the previous two years. 

At the same time, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments said the above percentage increase is less than a 1% uptick — when factoring in real dollars between 2015 and 2021, along with present-day inflation rates.

Among the notable budget hikes, the Times reports a 55% jump in Army funding to buy new missiles and a 47% uptick for the Navy's weapons purchases.

On Friday, Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said the war in Ukraine had exposed shortfalls in our nation's military industrial base that needed to be addressed, as a means of ensuring "we're able to support Ukraine and to be able to deal with contingencies elsewhere in the world."

According to the Times, Lockheed Martin, America's largest military contractor, booked more than $950 million worth of its own missile military orders from the Pentagon, "in part to refill stockpiles being used in Ukraine."

Also, the U.S. Army has earmarked more than $2 billion in future contracts to Raytheon Technologies, with a focus on expanding Ukraine's base of missile systems, per the Times.

"We went through six years of Stingers in 10 months," Gregory J. Hayes, Raytheon’s chief executive, told the Times earlier this month, when referring to 1,600 of the company's antiaircraft missiles sent by the U.S. government to Ukraine. 

"So it will take us multiple years to restock and replenish," added Hayes.

Military spending in 2023 will likely reach its "highest level in inflation-adjustment terms," since the days of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to the Times.

Also, when using inflation-adjusted terms, it reportedly represents a higher level of spending that America's commitment to World War II.

It's also worth noting: The Times reports the estimated Pentagon budget figure doesn't include the $18 billion of "planned but now delayed weapons deliveries" to Taiwan, as worries of an invasion of China heighten.

"The difficulty of starting a production line back up, that doesn't come for free," said Tom Arseneault, president of BAE Systems.

On Thursday, the annual reconciliation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in the Senate. 

The legislation precludes the Air Force and Navy from retiring aging weapons systems, including certain C-130 transport planes or F-22 fighter jets.

However, at the same time, the annual extension will include billions of dollars in extra money to "build even more new ships and planes than the Pentagon itself asked for, including $2.2 billion alone for an extra Navy-guided missile destroyer," according to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

There is also $678 million earmarked for the expansion of ammunition plants in spots such as Scranton, Pa.; Middletown, Iowa; and Kingsport, Tenn.

At the above plants, the Army manufactured ammunition that Ukrainian artillery crews reportedly burned through at an alarming rate.

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The lame-duck, Democrat-controlled Congress is moving toward the approval of a national military budget of approximately $858 billion for the current fiscal year - or $45 billion above President Joe Biden's initial request - due to "growing military threats" from China and...
russia, ukraine, us, missiles, biden, pentagon
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2022-46-18
Sunday, 18 December 2022 10:46 AM
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