The Pentagon is asking Congress for $842 billion next year, its largest ever budget request. The Defense Department said the budget’s number one priority is to counter China both now and in the decades to come.
“Our greatest measure of success and the one we use around here most often is to make sure the PRC leadership wakes up every day, considers the risks of aggression and concludes today is not the day,” Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks said.
The proposal calls for a $30.6 billion investment in munitions. It’s a priority because the war in Ukraine is using munitions faster than the United States and its NATO allies are currently making them.
Defense officials want about $10 billion specifically for long range weapons like hypersonic missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, extended range air to surface missiles and long range anti-ship missiles.
The Pentagon said this will help deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific, or if necessary, prevail in the region.
“When it comes to munitions, make no mistake: We are buying to the limits of the industrial base even as we are expanding those limits, and we’re continuing to cut through red tape and accelerate timelines,” Dr. Hicks said.
Other deterrents include $9.1 billion for new air bases, better missile warning and tracking systems, and better defense systems for Guam and Hawaii.
The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the U.S. has one key competitive advantage when it comes to increasing capacity: working with allies.
“And so the defense industrial base can be seen in two capacities. One is certainly ours, and then…the defense industrial base across our allies and partners,” Admiral Christopher W. Grady said.
The department is also asking for $6 billion to improve the defense industrial base and supply chains, including long-term investments in microelectronics, casting and forging, batteries, kinetic capabilities and critical minerals.