Pentagon Budget of Over USD 580 Billion to Target Russia, China, IS

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks at a press briefing
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter speaks at a press briefing.

Washington, 24 Rabiul Akhir 1437/3 February 2016 (MINA) – The Pentagon’s 2017 budget of USD 582.7 billion is intended to improve readiness of US military against Russia and China, and to mount further attacks on so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and Iraq, it was revealed Tuesday.

In remarks delivered at the Economic Club in Washington, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter called Russia and China “our most stressing competitors,” and said the US must take “the long view” and secure both a military and a cyber security edge over the two nations, Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA reported, quoting KUNA.

“Even as we fight today’s fights, we must also be prepared for the fights that might come 10, 20, or 30 years down the road,” Carter emphasized.

“For a long time, (we) tended to focus and plan and prepare for whatever big war people thought was coming over the horizon,” he said.

“While that kind of singular focus may have made sense when we were facing off against the Soviets or sending hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, it won’t work for the world we live in today.”

Today, he noted, “we have to think and do a lot of different things about a lot of different challenges – not just IS and other terrorist groups, but also competitors like Russia and China, and threats like North Korea and Iran.”

In a bid to reassure European allies against Russian threats, the US will step up its military spending in Europe, going from less than USD 800 million to USD 3.4 billion, Carter revealed.

The fight against IS will cost 50 percent more than before, going up to USD 7.5 billion, Carter affirmed.

He added that USD 1.8 billion of that sum will go toward purchasing smart bombs and laser-guided munitions.

USD 71.4 billion will be spent on research and development within the military, and USD 8.1 billion will go toward strengthening submarines and their munitions, Carter said, while just under USD seven billion will be used for cyber warfare readiness.

“While we do not desire conflict of any kind with any of these nations – and let me be clear, though they pose some similar defense challenges they are very different nations and situations – we also cannot blind ourselves to the actions
they appear to choose to pursue,” he affirmed.  (T/R07/ R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)