Pentagon Seeks Increased Budget, Citing Russia, China

Carter Declares Nations 'Stressing Competitors'

While yesterday’s indications were that the new Pentagon budget request would center on the ever-escalating ISIS war, the new $582.7 billion budget request for 2017 also hits all the other key touchstones, talking up potential conflicts with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter emphasized the possibility of wars in the “decades to come” against Russia and China in particular, terming them “stressing competitors” for the United States, and presenting the Cold War era as a “luxury” when the US could focus on just one potential war against one potential enemy.

Of course, every new year’s budget request involves significant increases, and centers on potential wars with most of the same nations, and this year’s seems to be trying to hit all of the usual talking points, just with billions more added to the bottom line.

History also suggests that whether the Pentagon is talking up protecting Latvia from a fictitious Russian invasion or preparing to fighting China over artificial islands, at the end of the day Congress is going to take the request, shuffle some of the money around to more politically favorable outlets, and ultimately give the Pentagon everything they want, and more.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.