According to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the United States, and China is at a turning point and will need military might to ensure that American ideals, not those of Beijing, govern the world in the twenty-first century.
After a week in which the Pentagon concentrated heavily on China’s rise and what it might mean for America’s standing in the world, Austin’s speech at the Reagan National Defense Forum brought the week to a close.
It said Beijing would probably have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, with no specifics on how China might seek to use them, in its annual security assessment on China, which was released on Monday.
Austin was present when the military’s newest, highly classified nuclear stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider, was unveiled on Friday in a dramatic midnight rollout.
The B-21 Raider is being developed to outperform Beijing’s rapidly expanding cyber, space, and nuclear capabilities.
Austin stated on Saturday that China “is the only nation with the intent and, increasingly, the power to remake its region and the global order to suit its authoritarian tastes.
To be clear, we won’t allow it to happen.
He stated at the discussion held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library that the Pentagon is likewise worried about Russia and is still dedicated to arming Ukraine while avoiding the escalation of that fight into a U.S. confrontation with Moscow.
Austin declared, “We won’t be drawn into Putin’s conflict.
“The terms of our competition with the People’s Republic of China will be established throughout the following several years.
According to Austin, the future of security in Europe will be shaped by them. And they will decide whether our grandkids and future generations enjoy a free society with rights and freedoms or whether they must contend with emboldened autocrats who attempt to rule via intimidation and force.
According to Austin, China still poses a higher risk of the two nuclear power threats.
Austin stated that to address this increase, “we’re aligning our budget to the China challenge like never before.”
“In this flawed world, strength does deterrence come through.”
The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the nuclear triad revamps, which include the bomber, will cost $1.2 trillion through 2046.
It calls for updating the country’s fleet of nuclear submarines and silo-launched nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles, with the Raider as the foundation of the triad’s future air leg.
The Defense Department has the highest discretionary budget of all the federal departments, and if Congress approves the current spending measure before the end of the current legislative session, it may earn up to $847 billion in the 2023 budget.
However, defense supporters contend that because a large portion of that spending is allocated to military personnel, it is still insufficient to modernize and keep up with China.
According to the CBO, salaries, health insurance, and retirement plans make up nearly a quarter of the defense budget.