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The White House has requested a US defense budget of $886 billion for 2024, including the largest allocation on record for research and development.

The budget also features a 5.2% pay raise for troops, an $842 billion earmark for the Pentagon, and $44 billion for defense-related programs at other agencies. This budget request is $28 billion more than last year’s proposal and comes amid Russia’s war on Ukraine, which has led to increased demand for munitions.

Historically, Congress has increased defense spending over the president’s request during the budget process, and this year will be no different. The Senate and House will likely pass bills setting policy and spending levels for the Pentagon later in the year. Both Congress and the administration have an eye on a possible prolonged war in Ukraine and potential future conflicts with Russia and China.

According to Deputy U.S. Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks, the administration’s goal is to ensure that “the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) leadership wakes up every day, considers the risks of aggression, and concludes, ‘today is not the day.'” The US and China have become increasingly contentious over various issues, and the two powers are competing for influence in different parts of the world.

While Senator Jack Reed, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to the budget request as a “useful starting point,” it remains to be seen how much funding will be allocated to the Pentagon and other defense-related programs.


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