US new military budget: what's the point and outcome? / News / News agency Inforos
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US new military budget: what's the point and outcome?

In the US, the process of approving the military budget for the fiscal year 2020 is nearing completion

US new military budget: what's the point and outcome?

After the American Senate approved the new Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2020, President Donald Trump promised to sign the relevant bill "immediately". The total amount of military spending may reach $738 billion, which is 3.1 percent more as compared to the last year.

As a whole, the new US military budget retains all the negative characteristics of previous military budgets of Trump's Republican administration.

Among things that remain unchanged are increased allocations to all the key military programs suggesting to modernize the existing nuclear weapons and missiles, strategic and tactical purposes, as well as the creation of a new strategic nuclear triad, the development of missile and hypersonic systems and general operation forces, the reinforcement of "forward-based" forces and the conduct of military operations abroad that will consume up to 9 percent of the budget.

Substantial funds will be allocated to the US space force to be established next year and destined to "dominate" outer space. In general, the Pentagon is proposed to allocate $14 billion for military space programs, which is 14 percent more than in fiscal year 2019.

The basic strategy remains unchanged: about 800 US military bases will survive, despite claims to reduce them as useless.

President Donald Trump's readiness to implement a number of provisions of the new draft military budget gives rise to doubt. For instance, provisions on an independent study for the no-first-use policy. This is certainly not about cancelling research in this field, but about waiving the no-first-use concept. This would run counter to the current national nuclear strategy adopted in February 2018, page 22 of which explicitly prohibits such a transition.

In the context of the budget's offer to consider the examination of errors and incidents that could lead to a nuclear war, it is hardly possible to imagine that the United States may withdraw from the NATO air force operation Baltic Air Policing over the three Baltic states, involving nuclear weapon carriers of all the three nuclear powers of the West. But this one has to be suspended in its entirety as provocative.

The wording on the refusal to finance the procurement and deployment of new short- and intermediate- range missiles is highly questionable either. How should one perceive it if the United States and other NATO member countries have already refused to support Moscow's suggestion about a mutual moratorium on the deployment of such systems in regions where they do not exist for the time being?

Besides, the Pentagon intends to continue testing short- and intermediate- range missiles, which may entail the deployment of new American missiles in Europe and Asia. This is evidenced by the fact that December 12 this year witnessed the second and once again successful launch of an intermediate-range land-based missile from the Vandenberg Air Force Base (California), which falls under the terminological definition of the INF Treaty Washington unilaterally quit in early August this year.

The tested intermediate-range missile would definitely fall under the INF restrictions. This time it was a ballistic missile. The test provides yet more proof that the United States had completely different grounds for its unilateral denunciation than officially specified. The true cause for such a step was and remains obvious: the creation of new nuclear intermediate-range missiles. As demonstrated by the first similar testing of an American Tomahawk-class cruise missile conducted 16 days after Washington's withdrawal from the INF, the Pentagon is ready to proceed with such tests. This was directly stated by official Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Robert Carver after the missile experiment of December 12.

It should be reminded that over the past 20 years before the INF dissolution, the United States, carrying out tests of missile defense interceptors, have simultaneously worked out the interception of 117 intermediate- and shorter-range target missiles of six types, that were explicitly prohibited by the INF Treaty.

According to Chairman of the Interim Commission on Information Policy Alexei Pushkov, the US test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile it had been preparing long before leaving the INF, could become Europe's "black day", if followed by the deployment of US missiles on the continent. It may well be the case. One of the Western sociological centers has conducted a poll among the citizens of eight NATO member states to reveal their attitude to nuclear deployments.

Pentagon's new draft budget hints at the denunciation of the START-3 and the Treaty on Open Skies by the American side.

This budget stipulates formidable funds for an expanded counteraction to Russia and China, which contradicts Washington's verbal "interest" to develop relations with them. It is curious that the Pentagon's military budget touches upon imposing new illegal economic sanctions against Russia for its "gas flows" to Europe, as well as Russia's policy towards the Crimea, that is, as regards the integral Russian territory.

The increased allocation of funds to Ukraine to purchase "lethal weapons" from the United States (amounting to $300 million, which is $50 million more as compared to the last year) creates real obstacles to the implementation of Minsk agreements and Normandy format arrangements. What is meant here is the supply of cruise and anti-ship missiles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Such supplies, as well as earlier deliveries of American assault equipment to Kiev, do not lead to the cessation of its large-scale and permanent armed aggression against the Donbass residents, but entails its encouragement at a brand new level. A situation of this kind has a negative impact on the military-political situation in Europe as a whole.

So, the current Republican administration of the United States keeps focusing on the militarization of its economy and the projection of military power on a global scale, as well as the policy of dominating outer space. As indicated by Pentagon's official documents, a promising build-up of the US military budget is planned for the future. The American military establishment's "green paper" on future military spending, which was released in May this year, provides for further increases in their military allocations over the next five years.

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