Who is threatening world with defense budget nearing $900b?: Global Times editorial
Published: Mar 15, 2024 01:45 AM
House of Hegemony Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US President Joe Biden recently proposed a $7.3 trillion US government budget for the 2025 fiscal year. Among this, the defense budget of the US has once again broken records, soaring to $895.2 billion, an increase of over $9 billion compared to the 2024 fiscal year, nearly reaching the $900 billion mark.

The US defense spending for the 2024 fiscal year has already exceeded the combined military expenditures of the following nine countries, including China and Russia, accounting for about 40 percent of the global military expenditure. With the US national debt surpassing $34 trillion in early 2024, equivalent to $100,000 debt per capita, the US still allocates 12 percent of its government spending to defense for the fiscal year 2025, a practice of "spending lavishly on the military" that has shocked the international community.

Looking at the expenditure items in the 2025 fiscal year US defense budget, it is clear the majority will be used to support US military interventions and so-called "integrated deterrence" globally, research and development of new weapons and emerging military technologies, upgrading and modernizing nuclear arsenals, and enhancing military capabilities in strategic competition with other major powers. Despite continuous rhetoric of the "China threat" from US politicians, the continuously rising defense budget fully illustrates that the US is the biggest destabilizing factor threatening global peace and stability.

Combining recent speeches from US politicians, it is apparent that the US military will continue to conduct military interventions and so-called "deterrence" actions in regions such as the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East, which will undoubtedly lead to a more tumultuous and unstable world in the future. For example, Representative Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, claimed, "Our defense budget should be built with the goal of deterring the threats facing our nation." In addition to the "European Deterrence Initiative" budget specifically prepared to strengthen military containment against Russia, the US 2025 fiscal year defense budget also allocates $9.9 billion for the "Pacific Deterrence Initiative" targeting China to enhance the deployment and operations of the US military in the Asia-Pacific region and increase targeted joint military exercises and patrols with allies. The US media outlets believe this is a not-so-subtle strategic message sent by the Biden administration to China. US Army Budget Director Major General Mark S. Bennett said the spending on military exercises in the Pacific by the US Army in the new fiscal year will be significantly higher than in the 2024 fiscal year.

In addition to continuing to fuel the conflicts in Russia and Ukraine and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the US will also support and condone "Taiwan independence" activities. Although the supplemental spending bill proposed by the Biden administration to provide military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan region has been stalled in the House of Representatives, the defense budget document released by the Pentagon on Monday shows that the $500 million "initial spending request" in the budget will be used to replenish US weapon stockpiles after weapons are sent to Taiwan region. In addition to the $500 million in aid to Taiwan region under the presidential authority, the Biden administration is also seeking $100 million in the 2025 fiscal budget for the US State Department, which is referred to as a "historic investment in Taiwan's security," with the aim of "strengthening deterrence across the Taiwan Straits." This is the first time the US has specifically listed Taiwan region in a budget, revealing the side of the US supporting and tolerating "Taiwan independence" forces.

In order to obtain more military funding, the US military has recently been hyping up the "Chinese military threat theory." For example, the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command claimed that Chinese military aircraft will start operating near the US Air Defense Identification Zone as early as this year, "not only military aircraft, but also ships, and even submarines." In addition, Pentagon analysts have also exaggerated China's lead in the field of hypersonic weapons. As a result, the new US defense budget for the coming year has increased investment in missile defense systems and strengthened research and development efforts for hypersonic weapons. In fact, since 2018, the Pentagon has invested over $12 billion in developing a variety of land, sea, and air-based hypersonic strike weapon systems.

The new US defense budget also allocates huge funds to continue developing emerging technologies, upgrading and modernizing the nuclear arsenal, and enhancing the "nuclear triad" strike capability, including the development and construction of the next-generation Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine, the B-21 Raider strategic bomber, and the new generation of land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. The world can see clearly that the US' nearly $900 billion defense budget has a major goal of taking various measures to enhance the military capabilities of the US in strategic competition with other major powers, seeking to achieve "absolute security" for the US by undermining the security of other countries, thereby allowing the US to dictate terms and maintain its global hegemonic status.

Faced with a world in turmoil, the US should abandon Cold War thinking, stop military confrontation, bloc confrontation, and geopolitical games, and work with the international community to uphold world peace and security, which is the responsibility that a major power should fulfill.