US increases defence budget to confront China and Russia
The US administration has rolled out its fiscal 2021 defence budget proposal. The Pentagon’s highest priority is confronting Russia and China, as stipulated in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. The US aims to boost investments in hypersonic weapons and artificial intelligence (AI) programs.
The budget seeks $106.6 billion for R&D, test, and evaluation (about $2.3 billion more than what was enacted for the previous fiscal year).
The US Space Force (USSF) is asking in the budget for $15.4 billion, the bulk of which — $10.3 billion — is expected to go to research and development efforts such as space-based early missile warning and new ground control systems for GPS.
On the nuclear arsenal, the budget calls the “backstop and foundation of the nation’s defence and that of America’s allies.” Including $28.9 billion in Pentagon spending — $17.7 billion of it for upgrading “nuclear delivery systems” and command and control (C2) systems.
Also, the US Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) has requested about $664 million in fiscal 2021 to develop a new “kill vehicle” to knock down ballistic missiles that might threaten the homeland.