President Biden has asked Congress for $813 billion in military spending for the 2023 fiscal year. Of that amount, $773 billion will go to the Pentagon and the remaining funds will go to other US federal agencies for military programs, including the FBI and the Energy Department.
Biden’s request is over $30 billion more than the $782 billion military budget that was authorized for the 2022 fiscal year and represents about a 4% increase. But that still might not be enough for Republican hawks in Congress, who are calling for a 5% increase in military spending.
Last year, Biden asked Congress for $753 billion for military spending, but the House and Senate added an extra $25 billion to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The $778 billion NDAA was then bumped up to $782 billion by the $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill that was recently signed by President Biden.
In a statement on the Pentagon’s budget request, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the funds were needed to focus on China. “Our budget reflects our National Defense Strategy and the focus of that strategy on the pacing challenge of China,” he said. While China is considered the “pacing challenge,” Austin said the massive budget was also needed to face “acute threats” from Russia.
As part of its strategy against Russia and China, the Pentagon is focusing on developing new weapons technology. The Pentagon is asking for $130.1 billion for research and development of new technology, including hypersonic missiles, microelectronics, and biotechnologies.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration has pledged over $1 billion in new military aid for Kyiv. The Pentagon’s budget request includes another $300 million for Ukraine. The budget asks for $6.2 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, which is an effort to bolster the US military’s presence in Europe.
Biden is also asking $6.1 billion for the Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a plan to increase US military assets near China. As part of the initiative, the US wants to establish a network of long-range missiles along the First Island Chain, which stretches from southern Japan down to Indonesia.