The slimmed down US defence budget has left the Pentagon struggling to find resources internally in order to achieve the goals it set back in 2018, including shifting more focus on countering China and Russia.
US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has recently addressed the US Congress for help in boosting the defence budget so it could grow by 3% to 5% each year and to throw in additional an $2 billion for the 2021 budget that otherwise would be reduced.
These changes to the defence budget were justified by the need to fulfil the provisions of the National Defence Strategy (NDS) drafted in 2018. The latter suggested that the US must counter a rising China and Russia and develop new weapons and new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 5G technology, and hypersonic weapons. But does the US really need that much money for these purposes or is there something else that the White House is seeking to achieve?
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One of the things outlined in the National Defence Strategy for improvement was nuclear weapons. Not only are they they from the Cold War-era, but they also don’t meet the current demands of the American military. In a move deemed controversial by some experts, namely the creators of the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the US started developing so-called low-yield nuclear weapons that are expected to prevent China and especially Russia from the limited use of their own nuclear arsenals.