Biden’s $715 billion Department of Defense budget includes a 2.7% pay raise for troops and shifts billions in spending from old systems to help pay to modernize the nuclear arsenal to deter China.
The defense spending request for fiscal 2022 that was sent to US Congress on Friday invests in troop readiness, space, the Pacific Deterrence Initiative aimed at countering China’s military build-up in Asia and nuclear weapons technology, according to a report by Reuters.
Pentagon officials have said that the United States would still support Afghanistan through financial means, not boots on the grounds, according to a report by Defense One.
The US Army would get $173.0 billion under the Pentagon’s fiscal 2022 budget request, down from the $176.6 billion it received in the current fiscal year, according to its budget documents, Defense One reports.
According to the report, the US Army will see a $3.2 billion decrease in costs in operation and maintenance funds due to the Afghanistan and Iraq drawdowns.
If inflation stays at 4 percent, the report says, that would mean a real decrease of about 6 percent — a steeper real decline than in the overall defense budget request, which at $715 billion would decline about 3 percent in real terms from the current year.
Quoting senior defense officials, Defense One reports that Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan means the Navy and Air Force need more money and the Army less.
The withdrawal of the US and NATO forces from the country started on May 1. So far, according to figures provided by US Central Command, the Pentagon has retrograded the equivalent of approximately 160 C-17 loads of material out of Afghanistan and has turned over more than 10,000 pieces of equipment to the Defense Logistics Agency for disposition.
A key military base of US forces in downtown, the New Kabul Compound, also known as NKC, was handed over to the Ministry of Defense at a ceremony on Friday.
The figures also show that the US had by last week officially handed over five facilities to the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden in a speech on Friday honored the sacrifice of combat veterans ahead of the planned withdrawal later this year from Afghanistan and said they have achieved their purpose in the country – which was “to prevent al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base from which to attack America in the future.
Addressing US service members in a hangar at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, Biden said the US went to Afghanistan with a clear purpose: “to get the people who attacked us on 9/11 and to prevent al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base from which to attack America in the future. To achieve that purpose – you achieved that purpose.”