Developing a new generation of nuclear and space weapons.
The most ominous feature of the new budget document issued Monday by the Trump administration is the prominent place given to the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons, including so-called low-yield weapons, smaller than the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which are widely regarded as more likely to actually be used in combat.
The document calls for nearly $50 billion to be devoted to nuclear modernization, including $29 billion from the Pentagon budget, and $19.8 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a unit of the Department of Energy which operates the actual production of nuclear warheads, as well as some of the primary research.
The Trump budget would slash spending on diplomacy and foreign aid while sharply increasing funding for nuclear weapons, a clear indication of the policy direction being given from the White House in the wake of Trump’s acquittal last week in the impeachment trial before the Senate.
The budget provides the largest amount for the Pentagon’s research and development budget in 70 years, since the period when US imperialism was engaged in the initial research on the hydrogen bomb and the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Nuclear weapons modernization funds rose by 18 percent compared to last year’s budget.
Trump Budget Gives Top Priority to New Generation of Nuclear Weapons
WASHINGTON ― Three months late, the U.S. military finally has its budget for fiscal 2020.
Congress on Thursday sent President Donald Trump the final version of the 2020 defense appropriations bill, part of a broad $1.4 trillion spending deal to finalize federal spending for 2020 and avert a government shutdown. The defense bill would provide $738 billion.
On Thursday, the Senate passed the two spending packages that make up the deal, sending it to the White House, where the president is expected to sign it into law. Funding was in danger of expiring late Friday.
The defense bill dedicates $40 million to establish a new, sixth armed service service for space, which was $32 million less than the administration’s request. Even as Congress approved a sweeping defense policy bill this week that re-designates Air Force Space Command, it included language to prohibit any new billets, meaning the organization must be built with existing forces.
There’s $146 billion for a broad laundry list of military hardware, to include $1.87 billion for 98 F-35 aircraft, which is 20 more than the president’s request, and eight F-15EX aircraft to recapitalize the F-15C/D fleet. Among other provisions asserting Congress’ power of the purse, the bill bucks the Army’s wishes to include $28 million in advance procurement funds for the newest variant of the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter.
As the House passed the packages Tuesday, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, Rep. Ken Calvert, touted the defense bill’s increase of roughly $20 billion over 2019. “The bill increases funding for operations and maintenance, and procurement for the next generation of equipment to ensure our men and women in uniform always have the tactical advantage,” he said.
Does no one consider what good could be done with that kind of money?
Created: Wed 12 Feb 2020