Pentagon budget request seeks extra money for Ukraine military support, Afghan resettlement

Pentagon budget request seeks extra money for Ukraine military support, Afghan resettlement

The Department of Defense is asking Congress for $773 billion for the Pentagon in 2023, an increase of $30 billion from what President Biden asked for last year.

The Pentagon asked for more than $14 billion in added supplemental funding for projects such as resettling Afghan refugees in the U.S. ($4.3 billion), $6.5 billion for Ukraine military support, and $350 million for cleaning up Hawaii’s fuel-contaminated water supply.

The Air Force will receive the largest slice of the taxpayer-funded pie. Its budget will go from $220.6 billion this year to $234.1 billion in fiscal year 2023. Next year’s Navy budget will be $230.9 billion, an increase of more than $10 billion from 2022. Even the Army budget has jumped from $173.4 billion to $177.3 billion in 2023.

Pentagon officials said next year’s budget supports and implements the nation’s new National Defense Strategy: Recognize China as the nation’s key strategic competitor and acknowledge that Russia remains “an acute threat” to U.S. interests and those of its allies.

The 2023 budget request included $276 billion for weapons procurement, research and development. Pentagon officials said the figure is the largest in the history of the Department of Defense. 

Defense officials want $56.5 billion for airpower projects, such as F-35 and F-35 fighters and the B-21 bomber; $48 billion to construct nine battle force fleet ships and continuing funding for the Ford-class aircraft carriers; and $12.6 billion for Army and Marine Corps combat vehicles such as the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle.

The Defense Department also is asking for $34.4 billion to modernize the nation’s nuclear triad by fully funding the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and ramping up production of the B-21 Stealth bomber. The budget also will seek to fully fund the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, the replacement for the nation’s fleet of aging Minuteman missiles.