DOD Officials Say Budget Request Reflects Reforms, Pacing Challenge of China

  • Published
  • By David Vergun
  • DOD News

Of the $715 billion Defense Department's fiscal year 2022 budget request, $5 billion will go to the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to answer threats from China and maintain U.S. competitive advantages in the Indo-Pacific region, the undersecretary of defense comptroller and chief financial officer said.

Mike McCord and Navy Vice Adm. Ronald A. Boxall, director of force structure, resources and assessment for the Joint Staff, testified today at a House Budget Committee hearing.


McCord said key enabling technology budget items that address the challenges from China include:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Microelectronics
  • Hypersonics
  • 5G technology
  • Long-range fires
  • Space-based systems
  • Shipbuilding
  • Nuclear modernization

The budget also addresses persistent threats from Russia, Iran, North Korea and other transnational and non-state actors and supports the orderly and deliberate drawdown of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, McCord said.

Due largely to the drawdown in Afghanistan, the Overseas Contingency Operations funding category will be terminated, he said.

McCord stressed the budget's reform aspects. He said four of the big ones are: investments to address the effects of climate change; investments to develop and field resilient, diverse and efficient energy-saving platforms; continued improvements on the annual department-wide audit; and divestiture of about $2.8 billion in older and less capable platforms that the DOD considers ineffective for winning in a future fight.

"Department leaders take very seriously the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, ensuring transparency," he said.

Lastly, McCord said the budget invests in troops and their families, the department's most important resource, with a 2.7% pay raise request for military and civilian personnel and funds for health care, childcare and other people programs.

Boxall said: "The strategic landscape is rapidly changing. We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the character of war. In particular, China is increasing its military capability at an aggressive rate. We must ensure that we retain our competitive and technological edge against this pacing threat."

He noted that China and Russia are fielding long-range and hypersonic weapons that are capable of threatening allies, partners, and U.S. forces.

Boxall said they're also fielding space-based weapons that could be used to destroy U.S. space capabilities, but he said  the budget request addresses those threats.