The Senate on Thursday night passed the massive $858 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a vote of 83-11. The spending bill has already been approved by the House and now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
The $858 billion bill is $45 billion more than Biden asked for and represents an 8% increase from the 2022 NDAA. It marks the second year in a row that Congress added tens of billions of dollars to the president’s original request, as massive military spending is popular on both sides of the aisle.
Out of the $858 billion, $817 billion will go to the Pentagon, and the remaining funds will go toward military spending for other departments, including $30 billion for the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons program.
The NDAA will ramp up tensions with Russia and China as it includes amendments that will help the US send more arms to Ukraine and Taiwan. One measure will give the Pentagon wartime purchasing powers by allowing non-competitive, multi-year contracts for certain arms. The authority could be used to refill US stockpiles, arm Ukraine, and assist foreign governments that have provided support for Ukraine.
Ukraine will also receive $800 million in the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative from the NDAA, a program that allows the US government to purchase weapons for Kyiv. The vast majority of aid for Ukraine will still be authorized as emergency funds, and the White House is currently seeking an additional $37.7 billion, which is expected to be included in an omnibus spending bill Congress wants to pass before the end of the year.
When it comes to arming Taiwan, the spending bill will give Taiwan $3 billion in annual military aid and includes other provisions to increase informal diplomatic ties with Taipei. Other notable amendments include $11.5 billion in new investments for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a program to build up in the Asia Pacific to confront China, and the bill will roll back the Pentagon’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
52 thoughts on “Senate Passes Massive $858 Billion NDAA”
Congress haven’t declared a war, and yet we are outspending ourselves several times more than we did during WW2. MIC congress hard at work for their donors…
When the donors are controlling the financial system, the main stream media and the process of choosing and promotion of politicians to Congress, they are more than just donors.
Economic and military domination for power and profits do not come cheap. The pauperization of the populace and the culture is not an issue for the PTB.
All totalitarian regimes are using the warmongering for legalizing the repressions against their own people. American one is not an exclusion. One may say: no no, US is not totalitarian. Maybe not, not yet, but US rulers are working hard for the achievement of this goal and we see the progress.
They are well on the way to abolishing most rights that Americans take for granted and the mass of people are silent cowed into submission. The future is very dim.
As with John Hu’s assessment of the Geneva Accords, it’s an axiom of elitist neoconservatism that the Constitution is a “quaint” 18th c. work ungermane to 21st century polity.
Unfortunately, it is not difficult to manipulate the people.
Not being a US citizen I may not be up to date on what is going on there – what rights are you referring to in the ‘They are well on the way to abolishing most rights that Americans take for granted‘ sentence – could you mention just a top 3 or 5?
Good for the 11 that voted against. I imagine if we knew the reasons they voted no it would spoil our dinner. So, let’s pretend they are all antiwar.
Fairy Tales can come true, it can happen to U.S. ….. Nope, but it’s a good thought nonetheless and a wish well made.
“If you are among the very young at heart”…. And stalwart…
Eleven patriots and eighty three war mongerers. Sounds about right..These MFs are going to kill us all PDQ.
I question some of those “patriots” motive.
I can’t count that high…;-)
Every year Congress approves close to a trillion dollars of taxpayer money and hand it over to Pentagon with Pride… thinking that this giveaway maintains US hegemony in the world…! That is nonsense…! A weapon not used is a useless weapon…! And how much useless weapon US has…?! More than a trillion dollars…!
Fortunately, much of those money are stolen. Otherwise, the death and destruction would be of a bigger scale.
Yes, no oversight for money given to Pentagon. Their leaders have been robbing these funds for years if not decades…!
You have not read Sun Tzu I take it!?
“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”
I.e. the biggest value of a large force is that you only have to use it very seldom, because you can achieve your goals without having to do battle.
You misunderstand Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu considered war as a waste of lives and resources. Although war was sometimes necessary for survival of state, it was to be avoided and battle engaged only under either favorable circumstances when the state was threatened or in dire desperation when all other avenues had failed.
Nowhere does Sun Tzu imply provoking war. Neither does Sun Tzu suggest squandering immense resources. Sun Tzu recognized that wasting resources was an act of weakening; not of strengthening a state.
To wit: “There is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” And: “Who seeks to fight needs to first count the costs.”
That was the exact way I quoted him – look at the comment I was answering to! My point was/is that military spending that leads to the military not having to be used, because the political can be attained just by being strong is the best military spending. I.e. the greatest victory is that which require no battle – how did you arrive at the idea that I had misunderstood this????
I firmly believe that the US has not provoked war and is not at war.
And the US is not squandering resources in the present war – actually the US is getting Ukraine to use much of the old military equipment that they would otherwise spend resources on getting rid of.
Which is why he would have no beef with what the US has been doing here – he would have a lot of issues with what Putin has done but the original comment was on the US wasting resources on defense with the implication that if not used it was wasted.
Again the US is not at war so it cannot make itself guilty of this – it is at most ‘guilty’ of fooling Putin into prolonging his war wasting Russian resources of especially their already small fighting generations.
You sure can pile the bs deep. Massive military spending doesn’t prevent war. Proxy wars and armed interventions ARE war.
You write like Bill Clinton spoke. “It depends on your definition “….. of a defination.
If it looks like a war, kills and destroys like a war? Guess what? It’s a war. Ukraine is a war. Libya/is was a war. Ditto Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and others. Those wars weren’t prevented by massive military spending. They were ENABLED by that spending. They all have one thing in common: US intervention.
Weapons sent to Ukraine are showing up in Africa and likely other places. Those weapons aren’t going to prevent wars in that continent. They will, however, make those wars more LETHAL. Those weapons will likely destabilize governments. Cause more misery. Increase poverty.
In the USA, this run away military spending weakens this country. Those that advocate this diversion of resources are not friends of the American people. Neither do they have the interests of the Ukrainian people, or other innocent people who have been victims of these policies.
No, your mental gymnastics in defense of these policies is indicative of your LACK of understanding of Sun Tzu.
Massive military spending has prevented war and is preventing war – if not for the massive spending the US and Russia would likely be at war and not just Russia at war with Ukraine backed by the west – you have in this way failed to understand the value of not being directly involved for the US.
You may call it BS, but I can assure you that the US is saving billions and billions by not being directly involved – while having Ukraine (which would otherwise add to the strength of the Russians [if annexed] are now effectively reducing the threat of Russia. You have to be blind not to see this!
No I write as one who can actually see what is happening as opposed to you, who seems to be blinded by your own agenda – or are you claiming that Russia is neither suffering any losses in Ukraine nor depleting the value of the Ukrainian areas they may end annexing????
in Ukraine between Russia and Ukraine – the US is neither being bombed nor is it losing military assets that it cannot do without (nor men) – so for the US it is patently not a US war.
All wars where the US were directly involved were wars – US soldiers lost their lives and US equipment that US units needed for their work was being degraded or destroyed – that is not the case in Ukraine.
That some wars are chosen does not mean that others are not prevented – i.e. the US gets to chose far more often when it wants to go to war.
Some places yes other places no – the amount of weapons leaked from Ukraine is too insufficient to constitute a case for saying that massive military spending can avert some wars.
Try being say Armenia and disarming and see where that gets you!
No you just do not understand Sun Tzu – nor military matters it seems.
The US year over year is spending $100+ Billions on Ukraine. After a coup instigated by NATO and the US and the delaying tactic of lying on the Minsk agreements.
So….. cost effective. And the $100 billion is more than was wasted per year on the ME debacle. Thanks so much for your assurances on the Billions of dollars “saved”.
BTW, Ukraine is bordering Ukraine. The EU out including the British are spending how much? The EU and the British have about th same GDP as the US. But those countries want the American taxpayers to foot he bill. So….. spare me the “assurance” and the crocodile tears of concern to the people of Ukraine.
The carrot that was put in front of the incompetent European Commission for this mess was thought to be a life jacket to put off the day of reckoning on their disastrous economic policies. Regime change in the RF, followed by exploitation of Russia’s natural resources as was done in the 1990’s. I think you alluded to that yourself with a comment on $20 per barrel oil. Return to the Yeltsin years isn’t happening. Russians have wised up to the EU exploitation.
Your entire fascist EU super state is just a bunch of grifters pretending to be concerned about a “democracy” which is, in turn, a corrupt oligarchy run by puppet with aspirations of being a autocrat.
Four main problems with those points:
– the first being that the weapons donated to Ukraine are counted at the value of acquisition – but they were mostly on long term storage about to have to be dismantled – so their actual value were in many cases negative.
– Second problem is that you fail to take account of the costs inflicted upon Russia (and whatever parts of Ukraine they may end up controlling).
– Third the cost of Europe getting much more dependent on Russia
– Fourth the idea that massive military investments can avoid a war does not mean that the nation will have to forgo expenses to dismantle potential future enemies.
It is entirely true the other NATO countries has been freeriding on the coattails of the US investments – but equally that the US has benefitted massively by being the main supplier of arms to these nations (you may not understand the depth f this argument). What gives you the idea that my pity for the Ukrainian people is anything but honest?
EU has had no role in defense policies – so once again you demonstrate your lack of understanding of the role of the different players in this conflict EU may get such a role in the future but presently it does not.
I have made no comment on $20/barrel oil and I doubt that anyone in Europe (let alone EU) have thought that there was a realistic chance of a change in Russia that would allow Russian oil to be sold below market rates – why do you pose this strawman?
EU is as have been argued not involved in the military side of things here – so the idea that it is fascist is as wrong as it is irrelevant.
Heck, you can’t even read. You somehow missed “disastrous economic policies”. by the European Commission and claimed I meant military decisions. Nope. Poor straw man attempt on your part. Try and fear what I wrote rather than making up stuff.
BTW, the cost of weapons supplied to Ukraine isn’t even the major part of the aid. Same was the case for the ME countries. Note that these weapons cost to re condition and deliver. And now you sound like Zelansky. Yes we’re to my you a favor by taking it off your hande. FYI that claim isn’t going to play here.
So keep it up. Ingratitude even put Biden off. The day of reckoning will come sooner. Again, compared to the ME, fact is the aid is substantially higher for Ukraine.
As far as the $20 oil? That comment was made by one of the Ukraine should on this site.
So, you doubled down on the misrepresentation of my point on the EUROPEAN commission. Somehow used that meant the EU couldn’t be fascist because it wasn’t involved in military decisions (a non sequitur). You might want to look up fascism as a political economic ideology….. Or not.
This is a waste of my time. If you’re getting paid for this stuff, the money is wasted.
Where I misunderstood the ‘disastrous economic policies’ to refer to the freeriding on the US taxpayer on account of the preceding paragraph.
So OK you may have known that EU does not do defense policies, but apparently you believe that EU does economic policies – it does not each country decides on its own – EU sets monetary policies for the Euro area. So it was just a different thing you did not know!
The point I made is that at this stage of these weapons lifecycle they cost to dismantle or to deliver to Ukraine – if you read what I write you would know that I did not say that delivering them to Ukraine was without cost just that the value of the weapons is not as high as reported – a claim that stands and which you have not contradicted with this paragraph.
I’m not displaying ingratitude I’m a Dane we are still freeriding on the rest of NATO and very grateful to do so – that however does not prevent me from pointing out that delivering weapons that are mostly past their use by the US military date means that the price they cost is not a fair representation of their value.
Reading what you (intend) to write is hard when sentences make no sense – it may be because English is not my native language, but what did this sentence mean?
And now I’m tripling down on it as the European Commission does not set economic policy either it actually does not even set monetary policy that is set in the ECB – you are clearly ignorant of the EU.
That EU is not involved in military matters (yet) does not mean that it is not fascist but if we look up fascism we get: “authoritarianism, nationalism (including racial nationalism), hierarchy and elitism, and militarism. Other aspects of fascism such as its “myth of decadence”, anti-egalitarianism and totalitarianism can be seen to originate from these ideas.”
How does EU qualify for any of these???? It is not authoritarian nor nationalistic and not militaristic – nor is it in any sense defined by elitism or have a more pronounced hierarchy than e.g. the US or most certainly Russia.
So just what did you mean???
Luckily I do not get paid, and still I seem to know more than you 🙂
With guys like Putin hanging around, it is easy to get a large defense spending bill passed.
You mean Victoria Nuland.
No Putin, then Xi. No Xi, then Kim. No Kim, then the Mullahs. No Mullahs, then back to whatever boogeymen they can use to scare us into submission. It works on you.
No actually it is primarily ‘With guys like Putin hanging around‘ because while your point is fine when restricted to the US, it is much less so when it comes to e.g. Germany or Japan – both of which have in 2022 decided increases in defense spending – not seen since they were at all allowed to rearm after WWII.
And my comment was about the US.
I understood as much, but you replied to a comment which might not have been restricted to the US, furthermore as the example of Germany and Japan implies funding based on Putin may indeed be easier i.e. also in the US.
Right. Silly me thinking a comment to an article about the US spending $858 billion on defense was about the US spending $858 billion on defense.
Well silly you ignored the idea that we could use the ease of increasing defense expenditures from other countries to indicate if it would really be easier to increase defense spending in the US.
I didn’t ignore anything. And this is why I don’t want to converse with you. It was you trying to create a narrative hat wasn’t remotely implied by his comment. It was clearly about Putin being the reason for our $858 billion defense budget and that’s what I commented on.
“It was clearly about Putin being the reason for our $858 billion defense budget and that’s what I commented on.” A proposition you rejected based on many other reasons that the budget would have been increased anyway. A statement I found it would be difficult to counter, unless we acknowledge that it very likely was easier on account of Putin – because as we can see nations that have for a very long time been very restrictive with their defense budgets now suddenly are not so anymore.
This point you either ignored or tried to avoid so this is just wrong: “I didn’t ignore anything.”
But I understand it if you want to avoid engaging in difficult to counter debates with me.
There is no “counter debate“. I didn’t ignore anything in the comment I originally replied to. The US would have the same $858 billion defense budget today if Putin was dead and Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine.
I kind of doubt it, the increase was of an even higher percentage than last year and that in a year where there was a desire to fight inflation – increasing defense spending does the opposite.
Man, my only point was that our defense spending isn’t based on our defense needs.
A point that I might agree with to the extend that I appreciate that you (and often I) would not see the need for e.g. an invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan – so we would not see the increased spending associated with such actions as based on defense needs.
The point of the original comment however was that defense spending was easy to increase with people like Putin around – and that is in my opinion correct – as in if not for Putin’ SMO there would very likely not have been as much of an increase in defense spending in 2023 as has now been budgeted.
I while there might not have been a slump like after the financial crisis, but very likely only a modest growth if any – reflecting the known need to curb inflation.
Maybe the $45 billion wouldn’t have been added although $25 billion had been added the year before and Russia hadn’t invaded as of yet. And of course, “Putin being around” makes defense easy to increase but only if the propaganda machine makes him out to be something he isn’t. That’s why I made the list of people that could make the defense spending easier to increase if Putin wasn’t around.
The propaganda machine could not work as effectively as it did had Putin not invaded – that is the main point.
No doubt. Putin took the bait. But my main point is that defense spending would have increased regardless. And if no Putin then it’s on to the next perceived monster and we have plenty in reserve.
Here’s a really good one.
The Pentagon Audit: Assets Gone Missing
I guess the Azov Battalion, or whatever the hell they call themselves this week, will be getting everything on their Christmas list this year, including an international Aryan jihad.
…Have yourself… a scary little Christmas…
Much more than the military even asked for! Slush funds upon slush funds.
Is Russian Restraint Averting the Risk of Nuclear War – or Inviting It?
During this apparent lull in fighting, I prefer to think Russia is producing more nuclear missiles like the Sarmat, YARS, and the various hypersonic systems.
Moscow may be sensing the inevitable clash between good (Russia) and evil (Amerika, NATO). Hope isn’t a strategy. What could be more subtle than launching a nuclear first strike?
Russian arms manufacturers switch to six-day working week
Shifts at defense enterprises may also be extended to 12 hours, a trade unions chief says
Here’s a graph explaining who is footing the bill to kill Ukranian and Russian people.
We’re witnessing the full resplendent blossoming of the warfare state, … the little bit of the rest of our polity won’t last much longer, … destined for 3rd world Orwellian police state status, … the last of the free speakers of truth; soon to be overwhelmed by Big Data and, one way or another, silenced.
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