On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Defense submitted its 2020 Defense Budget request, and it focused on the power struggle the U.S. is having with Russia and China as the two Communist superpowers try to dominate global affairs.
The Pentagon noted that the new budget calls for a 3.1% military pay raise, the largest increase in 10 years; it added:
The budget request reflects focus on the great power competition with Russia and China, as called for in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The past two budgets did begin to focus on the NDS, but the greater focus was on replenishing depleted munitions stocks and addressing readiness concerns that were the result of sequestration.
Space and cyber are the two newest warfighting domains. They got a big boost in defense dollars: $14.1 billion for space, a 10 percent increase over last year’s budget, and $9.6 billion for cyber, a 15 percent increase over last year … The budget request asks for funding for multidomain weapons and equipment upgrades. DOD has requested $2.6 billion for disruptive technologies such as hypersonics, $3.7 billion for unmanned and autonomous systems, $235 million for directed energy weapons, and $927 million for artificial intelligence and machine learning systems.
The budget request said of the funding for space that it is intended to “improve satellite communications capabilities; space-based warning, and space launch capacity.” The funding for the cyber-domain will be directed toward “offensive and defensive cyberspace operations; resilient DoD networks, systems, and modern multi-cloud environment.”
Funding for the air domain will support “5th Generation aircraft and extended range missiles” as well as “4th Generation aircraft capacity”; for the maritime domain to “increase strike options including unmanned” and to “grow the battle force fleet”; for the land domain to support “next-generation combat and tactical vehicles,” and for the multi-domain to support a “ground-based strategic deterrent, B-21 bomber, long-range stand off weapon, Columbia class submarine, missile warning, and NC3.”
The Trump administration has been determined to restore the American military to strength, and the Democrats taking the House of Representatives may impede that mission. As far back as June 2017, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated that he was shocked at the state of the American military’s readiness. Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee that they should eliminate the Budget Control Act of 2011, stating that Congress had “sidelined itself from its active constitutional oversight role” by not funding American defense properly. He added, “It has blocked new programs, prevented service growth, stalled industry initiative and placed troops at greater risk … For all the heartache caused by the loss of our troops during these wars, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of our military than sequestration.”
But as the Heritage Foundation noted just days after last November’s election, in which Democrats seized control of the House, the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., has opposed increased defense spending, stating that the 2019 budget of $716 billion is “too high.”