On September 23, the U.S. House of Representatives confirmed the latest U.S. defense budget. At $ 768 billion, this was $ 24 billion higher than last year, despite the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Biden administration had originally requested $753 billion. The budget has yet to be confirmed by the US Senate, but major changes are no longer expected.
The US defense budget is the largest in the world. U.S. defense spending is greater than that of several of the following countries combined. China has the second largest defense budget in absolute terms. However, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Russia spent a higher share of GDP on defense in 2020 than China and the US.
Cyber, Pacific, China
Compared to 2021, the US budget is slightly higher in 2022, but this does not matter much when adjusted for inflation. Attempts by some Democratic deputies to prevent the budget increase failed. The US is increasingly focusing on China and the Indo-Pacific. The relationship with Russia, which has cooled again, is also playing a role. 2,5 Billion dollars are proposed for investment in the Pacific region, 3,3 billion Dollar.
An important role is played by the development of cyberwar technologies, AI development, quantum computers and autonomous weapons systems, as well as cybersecurity. The latter is believed to be a response to increasing cyber attacks on U.S. government agencies and U.S. infrastructure. The cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline in May 2021, for example, triggered chaos in large parts of the US due to fuel shortages. Thus, the US Army wants to hire more software developers and other IT personnel and the armed forces are increasingly training.
In recent years, China in particular has increasingly invested in IT technologies. A point where the United States must now follow suit. The recently resigned software chief of the Ministry of Defense, Nicolas Chaillan, even thinks that this race is already lost. The US has so far invested its funds in classic war material, China's lead is no longer catching up.
No more support for the Yemen war
The Biden bill included a smaller amount for military equipment procurement and a larger amount for research and development. A good chunk of about $28 billion goes according to Axios in renewing the nuclear arsenal. The United States has withdrawn its support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war.
The deletion concerns US logistical support, aircraft maintenance and information sharing. The withdrawal of all US soldiers from Syria was rejected by the deputies. On the other hand, they agreed to a 2.7 percent increase in the remuneration of US soldiers.
Conscription for women is on the way
Measures against Covid-19 and other pandemics as well as to adapt to the ongoing climate crisis will be financed with half a billion dollars each. Another concern is extremism in the world. Another notable innovation: in the future, American women will have to register for a possible conscription as soon as they are 18 years old, just like men. This proposal is not yet law, but has a good chance of being approved.