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Biden wants $813 billion for defense amid war in Ukraine

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by mike stone

WASHINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden’s $813 billion national defense budget request sees a 4.6% salary increase for soldiers and the largest analysis and development budget in history, at a time when the war in ukraine stimulates demand for more military spending.

Biden’s request allocates 773,000 million dollars to the Pentagon and exceeds the requests of former President Donald Trump.

Another $40 billion is spent on defense-related programs in various agencies, bringing the national security budget to $813 billion, up from $778 billion last year.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has fueled recent calls for more defense spending among Democrats and Republicans, who see a growing national security and foreign policy threat from Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

At the same time, the budget holds back Defense’s purchase of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, the Pentagon’s largest weapons program, after the Air Force complained that technological hardware upgrades were too slow.

Among the top priorities in the budget are shipbuilding, space-capability development, missile warning and modernization of the nuclear “triad” of ballistic missile submarines, bombers and land-based missiles.

The Pentagon alone has requested 61 F-35s made by Lockheed Martin Corp., up from 85 last year, though experts believe Congress broke that number during the budget process.

The fiscal 2023 budget, which begins on October 1, has the largest allocation for analysis and development of the Pentagon in history, with 130,000 million dollars destined to the development of new weaponry, such as hypersonic missiles, to fight in possible future wars. future against China and Russia.

The national defense budget request made during the last year of Trump’s term was 752.9 billion dollars. Congress increased that amount by $25 billion to $778 billion for fiscal year 2022.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington. Editing in Spanish by Javier Leira)

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