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article imagePentagon asks for over $705 billion for 2021 military budget

By Ken Hanly     Feb 11, 2020 in Politics
For 2021 the US Pentagon has requested $705.4 billion. This includes a 3 percent pay raise for military personnel and also $15.4 billion of the new Space Force.
Breakdown of budget request
$21.3 billion is budgeted for munitions and that includes $11.3 billion for tactical missiles. A recent article breaks down the munitions expenditure: "The DoD has requested $21.3 billion in munitions, including $6 billion for conventional ammunition, $4 billion for strategic missiles and $11.3 billion for tactical missiles. Munitions and missiles make up 8.8 percent of overall procurement in the budget request."
The Trump administration is also requesting $46 billion to be spent on nuclear weapons. For the nuclear triad, the Defense Department' budget request asks for $1.5 billion to develop new intercontinental ballistic missiles to replace the Minuteman III nuclear missiles plus another $2.3 billion on new early warning satellites.
Most areas see little or no reduction except for a substantial budget cut for the paper the Stars and Stripes that often carries quite useful information.
Less money appropriated for the Afghan War
There is $14 billion appropriated to finance the Afghan War during 2021. This may sound large but it is the lowest amount requested for the 18-year old war for nearly a decade. The request is part of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) part of the budget for Operation Freedom Sentinel as the Afghan War is euphemistically named. The lower figure assumes there will be a drawdown of US forces.
The US has had off and on peace talks for some time with the Taliban, but at present they seem to be bogged down over the issue of a cease fire and reduction of violence. Mark Esper, the US Secretary of Defense, claims the US is considering reducing its footprint in Afghanistan from 13,000 to 8,600 whether there is a peace deal with the Taliban or not. Ultimately, there needs to be a deal with the Afghan government or its members and other Afghans as well. The Taliban will not negotiate officially with the Afghan government because it considers it a puppet of the US.
Trump has indicated he wants to cut Afghan troop levels before the 2020 elections. However, other drawdown plans have been reversed. We will just have to wait and see what Trump decides to do.
More about US Pentagon, 2021 miilitary budget, Afghan war
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