USD 842 bn budget proposal for US defence driven by competition with China: US Secretary of Defence
Washington, D.C.: The United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III said that the USD 842 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year 2024 for the US Department of Defence is a strategy-driven budget and one driven by competition with China.
Austin added that the budget will provide more resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific and increase the scale and the scope of exercises with US partners.
According to reports, the FY 2024 budget request includes a 40 percent rise for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative over last year’s budget and it’s an all-time high of USD 9.1 billion.
It will fund a stronger force posture, better defences for Hawaii and Guam, and deeper cooperation with the US allies and partners, reports said.
“This is a strategy-driven budget — and one driven by the seriousness of our strategic competition with the People’s Republic of China,” Lloyd J Austin III said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“At USD 842 billion, it’s a 3.2 percent increase over fiscal year 2023 enacted … and it is 13.4 percent higher than fiscal year 22 enacted. This budget will help us continue to implement our National Defense Strategy and the president’s National Security Strategy,” the Defence Secretary said.
He said that the Budget will focus on three key priorities: to defend the nation, to take care of the United States' outstanding people, and to succeed through teamwork.
“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is our pacing challenge. And we’re driving hard to meet it. Our budget builds on our previous investments to deter aggression. We’re investing in a more resilient force posture in the Indo-Pacific and increasing the scale and the scope of our exercises with our partners,” Austin said in a statement released by the US Department of Defence.
This budget reportedly makes the Department of Defence’s largest-ever investments in both R&D and procurement.
The Secretary of Defence said that the department is forward-stationing and deploying more forces In the Pacific, while also investing in airfields, logistics, domain awareness and resilience in places like Japan, Australia, Guam and the sovereign states involved in the Compact of Free Association.