Monday, July 22, 2024

FY2023 Defense Budget Proposes $400 Million to Counter China’s “Malign Influence” 

Washington, DC – The Biden-Harris Administration submitted a proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget request of $813.3 billion to Congress for national defense, $773.0 billion of which is for the Department of Defense. This includes $400 million to counter China’s ‘malign influence.’ 

In a statement, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said, “Our budget reflects our National Defense Strategy and the focus of that strategy on the pacing challenge of China.” Secretary Austin said that it would help the US prepare for other future challenges, including climate change, and preserve its readiness and deterrent posture against the threats from ‘an aggressive Russia and the constantly emerging threats posed by North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations.’ 

Briefing reporters at the Pentagon, Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen H. Hicks said the people of Ukraine “are foremost on our minds” as they defend their country from Russia’s “unprovoked invasion and vicious tactics.” 

“Even as we confront Russia’s malign activities, the defense strategy describes how the department will act urgently to sustain and strengthen deterrence with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] as our most consequential strategic competitor and pacing challenge. The PRC has the military, economic and technological potential to challenge the international system and our interests within it.” Referring to persistent threats from North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations, Hicks said, “national security threats facing Americans at home have fundamentally changed from the post-9/11 world.”

To meet these challenges, the National Defense Strategy prioritizes four objectives: defending the homeland, pace to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the PRC, deterring strategic attack, deterring aggression while being prepared to prevail in a conflict when necessary, prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific, then the Russia challenge in Europe, and building a resilient joint force and defense ecosystem.

The FY 2023 budget request advances these priorities by pursuing three approaches: integrated deterrence, campaigning, and building enduring advantages.

“The combat credibility of the US military to fight and win in defense of our nation’s interests is a cornerstone of integrated deterrence,” said Hicks. This is achieved through close cooperation between the US military and the rest of the US government, as well as Allies and partners.

“Our competitors are increasingly undertaking activities designed to erode US deterrence and advance their own interests via gray zone activities,” said Hicks. “We, in turn, will operate forces, synchronize broader department efforts, and gain advantage on our terms by tying together the breadth of US and allied and partner defense activities through campaigning.” She added that central to campaigning is ensuring Joint Force readiness across the full battle space competitors can present.  

Noting that the US is dynamic in its ability to respond to new threats across the globe, the department’s campaigning efforts will be focused on the Indo-Pacific and Europe. The department is making investments to support comparative military advantage, enhance our posture, provide for resilient logistics, and increase cooperation with regional allies and partners through the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and other efforts. The budget request makes investments that support the European Command and US commitment to NATO. “We will optimize the responsiveness of the Joint Force, provide assistance to Kyiv through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and bolster security cooperation programs,” Hicks said.

The third approach is to build enduring advantages across the department to support integrated deterrence and campaigning. “This begins by building the workforce that we need, investing in our most critical asset, our people,” said Hicks. The FY 2023 Budget proposes a 4.6 percent pay raise for military and civilian personnel, funds a $15 per hour minimum wage for the federal workforce, and invests in providing quality, affordable child care. The proposed budget includes $479 million to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission on sexual assault in the military and $34 million to improve the department’s capability to deter, detect, and address concerning behaviors and extremism in the ranks.

Speaking to reporters, Navy Adm. Christopher W. Grady, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, added, “The American people can be confident that this year’s budget request of $773 billion ensures the Joint Force remains the most lethal and capable military on the planet. It will modernize and it will transform the force needed to win in the 2030s and beyond.”

 

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