April 15, 2021

Democrats in Congress are urging Biden to reduce military spending

2 min read

Official portrait of Vice President Joe Biden in his West Wing Office at the White House, Jan. 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

President Joe Biden is urged to minimize the Pentagon’s expenditure to pay for other operations, according to a letter which was signed by fifty House Democrats on 16 March. The letter is meant to sway the president’s financial year 2022 budget plan, which the White House is scheduled to send to Congress in May.

As per reports in the media, Biden plans to request $704 billion for the Department of Defense, which is similar to the amount the Pentagon received in 2021. The lawmakers urged Biden to “re-consider our nation’s budget priorities.” The Defense Department should be the first to undergo this re-evaluation. Billions of dollars currently spent on the military will be better spent on diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, global public health, environmental projects, as well as basic research.” It’s unclear how any future cuts will affect the Space Force, according to Todd Harrison, a security and space analyst at Center for Strategic and International Studies.

According to Harrison, the Space Force’s expenditure is just 2% of the overall Department of Defense budget. “I don’t think democratic Democrats would want to reduce the Space Force until they know that it pays for items like GPS, which helps the overall economy, as well as space surveillance abilities which support arms control agreements.”

The Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) satellites, developed by Lockheed Martin as well as Northrop Grumman, are the biggest Space Force procurement project. “I assume Next-Gen OPIR will be spared major cuts as it is a low-profile project that is solely defensive in nature as well as contributes to nuclear sustainability by reducing the potential for an enemy to launch a first strike,” Harrison stated.

Progressive Democrats want the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) of Air Force program to produce a modern intercontinental ballistic missile to be cut. “However, there is little or no hope that a reduction in GBSD would pass the Senate,” Harrison stated.

The Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) is a United States land-centered intercontinental ballistic missile system that will replace all 450 Minuteman III missiles in operation with the United States Air Force starting in 2029. Facing concerns about unnecessary expense and questionable usefulness for US national security at a period of economic stress as well as national emergency linked to the COVID 19 epidemic, the Trump administration awarded Northrop Grumman a $13.3 billion deal for the construction of an improved model of the Cold War nuclear program.


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