ANALYSIS – President Joe Biden finally announced his proposed defense budget, very quietly on a Friday afternoon, intentionally drowned out by the long Memorial Day weekend a couple of weeks ago. Many observers missed it – as designed. This is a standard DC ‘swamp’ tactic to avoid the issue entering the news cycle.
As Kevin Baron, editor of Defense One noted, “If the White House wanted to boast about its [defense] spending plans, it wouldn’t have buried the news on Memorial Day weekend and given reporters just 10 minutes to ask questions.”
And Biden had reason to want his defense budget ignored. It is a woefully inadequate budget to face the multitude of growing external threats facing the United States. Think expansionist CCP China on a military building binge, Putin’s Russian military adventurism as close as Hawaii, and in the Arctic, space and cyberwarfare, Iranian terrorism and possible nuclear weapons, and terrorism, etc., etc.
Yet, Team Biden has been absurdly touting ‘white supremacist extremists’ as the ‘number one threat’ to the homekand and ‘Climate Change’ as top national security threat.
In fact, the greatest threat to U.S. national security today is Biden’s 2022 defense budget.
Frederico Bartels, a senior policy analyst for defense budgeting in Heritage’s Center for National Defense, wrote in 19fortyfive:
When the Office of Management and Budget released its [total U.S.] 2022 budget request, President Joe Biden stated, “Where we choose to invest speaks to what we value as a Nation.”
On that basis, the Biden administration does not value the United States armed forces. [emphasis added]
While Biden is proposing an unprecedented and fiscally unsustainable $6.4 TRILLION national budget, the Pentagon will only get $715 billion, which is less, adjusted for inflation, than President Trump’s defense last budget. As Bartels notes:
Biden’s budget reflects more interest in an unprecedented expansion of the federal government than adequately funding the military. Priced at a whopping $6.4 trillion, this budget request, adjusted for inflation, costs more than World War II and one decade of Obamacare combined.
…If enacted as is, the Department of Education would have a 41% budget increase, the Environmental Protection Agency would have a 22% increase, and the Department of Defense would have a paltry 1.6% increase—less than the expected 2.2% inflation rate.
Most defense leaders believe the U.S. needs a defense budget that is consistently 3% to 5% above inflation for several years to be ready for great power competition, primarily with an increasingly dangerous and belligerent China, but also potentially with Russia.
Biden’s budget has effectively shrunk the Pentagon’s purchasing power when it could least afford it. Because of this, our military leaders were forced to make painful tradeoffs.
These tradeoffs included shrinking the Navy and Army at a time when both should be increased and cutting ‘legacy systems’ we need to fight a war today and tomorrow, to invest in future defense tech for a possible war ten years from now.
Further moving away from its mission of “providing the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation’s security,” Biden’s budget proposes to carve out $500 million to go toward pandemic preparedness and $617 million to address, prepare, and adapt to climate change.
This is partially how the Biden administration is attempting to redefine the meaning of national security. ADN