President Obama is looking to further increase the budget in defense spending to try and curb the rise in security treats around the world and to protect the US from potential security risks.
The increasingly difficult and unstable situations in both the Ukraine with Russia and in the Middle East with reference to Syria and the rise of Islamic State has led the president to propose a substantial increase in defense spending.
According to a report by Reuters, the Obama administration has proposed an increase of $534 billion Pentagon base budget plus $51 billion in war funds with the administration urging Congress to cease cuts as it can potentially lead to the erosion of the US as a serious military power within the world.
Defense officials said the higher spending level was necessary to carry out President Barack Obama’s national security strategy, including the planned stationing of more forces in the Asia-Pacific in response to the rise of China, said the Reuters report.
The problem with the newly proposed budget is that it goes over the federal budget spending cap for the 2016 fiscal year and this means that Congress will be forced to debate the issue leading to bigger questions ultimately about whether the cuts to the budget should continue in a bid to cut the US deficit or if spending should be increased at the expense of not being able to reduce the debt of the government.
While it has been acknowledged by those in defense that the money they are asking for exceeds the budget limits, it is seen by many as being very necessary.
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the budget “represents the minimum resource level necessary to remain a capable, ready and appropriately sized force able to meet our global commitments,” according to Reuters.
The extra money being asked for is to be used for a number of purchases and projects including funding for additional P-8 submarine-hunter aircraft and the development of a new long-range strike aircraft seen as necessary for the Asia-Pacific region.
According to Reuters, the proposed budget also included $5.3 billion to fund operations against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, including $1.3 billion to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters.
“The geopolitical events of the past year only reinforce the need to resource DoD (Department of Defense) at the president’s requested funding level as opposed to current law,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“As the budget makes clear, a return to sequester-level funding would be irresponsible and dangerous, resulting in a force too small and ill-equipped to respond to the full range of potential threats to the nation,” the Pentagon concluded.