Congress Will Allocate about $732 Billion For Defense In 2021
The Pentagon's budget for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins on October 1, will be $732 billion, $8.5 billion less than the Washington administration requested in February, according to the draft of the US military budget for the next fiscal year, prepared by the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the US House of Representatives Adam Smith (Democrat, from the state of Washington). His office released the text of this bill on Saturday, which was a response to the budget request of the US administration, transmitted to Capitol Hill this spring.
"Chairman Smith's proposal provides for $732 billion for our national defense," the document says. In particular, the Democrat proposes to allocate $69 billion for operations abroad. Last year, Smith offered $733 billion.
The draft defense budget also proposes to create a national security Fund to improve the country's ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemics. $1 billion will be allocated for its work. The document "does not provide any legal restrictions on the transfer of prisoners from [Guantanamo] in Cuba to other countries with the exception of Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Syria.
Smith proposes to allocate about $600 million in military funding for the science and technology sector. In particular, more than $50 million will be spent on biotechnologies and strengthening preparedness for pandemics. As part of the draft budget, an Assistant Secretary of Defense will be responsible for developing strategic deterrence policies related to space, nuclear weapons, and missile defense.
The Democrat also calls for funding early-stage projects for ground-based missile defense systems and next-generation interceptors "due to delays in their acquisition." He points to the need to continue to allocate funds for space-based tracking sensors for hypersonic weapons and ballistic missiles, as well as the development of American hypersonic weapons.
It is planned to allocate $ 3.58 billion to "optimize the presence of the US armed forces in the region" of the Indian and Pacific oceans, "strengthen and support bilateral and multilateral military exercises and maneuvers with US allies and partner countries, improve infrastructure in the region in order to increase the responsiveness of the US armed forces." At the same time, the Chairman of the Committee prohibits the use of [budget] funds to reduce the American contingent in the Republic of Korea, where 28.5 thousand troops are stationed. To obtain permission, the Secretary of Defense must certify congressmen 180 days before a potential withdrawal that the decision "meets the national security interests of the United States and will not significantly undermine the security of US allies in the region, in proportion to the reduction of the threat posed by North Korea, South Korea is able to contain the conflict, and appropriate consultations have been held with US allies, including South Korea and Japan."
The national defense and security forces of Afghanistan will receive $3.5 billion in the draft budget. The funds, in particular, will be used for training, arming, and logistical support of the armed forces of the Central Asian Republic. Smith suggests expanding a program that allows Afghan citizens whose work for the U.S. government puts them and their family members at risk to immigrate to America.
The Smith Committee will review the draft budget next week. After approval, the document will be discussed by the full House of Representatives controlled by the Democrats. The Senate Armed Services Committee has already approved its version of the draft defense budget, which differs from Smith's version, and it will also begin to be considered next week in the Senate, where the Republicans have the majority. After both houses of the legislature approve their versions of the draft budget, a Commission will be convened to agree on the details of both projects. Both chambers will again have to vote on the agreed document, after which it will be sent to US President Donald Trump for signature. The whole process usually lasts until autumn or early winter.