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    How the DoD Budget Protects National Security at Home and Abroad

    The US is the most prominent military player on the global stage, safeguarding our country’s national security both within the contiguous states and outside them. 

    But how does the Department of Defense (DoD) objectively assess the allocation of resources that map to its budget—and its implications for domestic and international security? 

    Over the past two decades, the nation's focus on inconclusive conflicts has diverted significant resources from addressing emerging national security threats. These threats, notably from countries such as Russia and China, require careful consideration to ensure the US adequately prepares for whatever conflicts may appear on our horizon.

    The US currently allocates a substantial portion of its budget to military needs, outspending the next 10 countries combined. But while our nation maintains an undisputed military advantage, can we substantiate the need for continuous, exorbitant financial investments, especially when taxpayers fund these? 

    Rather than solely advocating for increased defense spending, exploring options for modernization and efficiency reforms within the defense sector could be an option.

    In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into the ramifications of the DoD budget allocation to gain a more balanced perspective on potential US spending. 

     

    Military spending by country

    In 2022, the US continued its reign as the foremost spender on military ventures, committing a staggering $877 billion to our defense apparatus. This spending accounted for nearly 40 percent of the global military expenditure, which reached $2.2 trillion that year.

    However, the US falls behind several other nations when we look at these figures as percentages of total domestic spending. 

    Allocating 3.5 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) to defense, the US ranks lower in terms of military expenditure as a percentage of GDP compared to nations like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, Algeria, and Russia. China emerged as the second largest contributor to military spending in 2022, funneling an estimated $292 billion (in US dollars) into its defense efforts, with Russia holding the third spot on the list.

    Worldwide, military spending has experienced a steady ascent over recent years. Several factors contributed to this trajectory, including the eruption of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and escalating tensions in the South China Sea. 

     

    US defense budget by year

    If you’re a government agency or contracting firm navigating the intricacies of the US defense budget, it’s wise to stay informed on its trends.

    According to the US Congressional Budget Office, the outlays for defense may soar to a formidable $1.1 trillion by 2033. This substantial budget allocation will likely channel into various sectors, with the Navy and Air Force Departments receiving the lion's share.

    Examining the budget breakdown from 2013 to 2022, the US could channel $392 billion of this amount into nuclear weapons development, $97 billion into missile defenses, and an additional $100 billion towards addressing environmental and health-related costs. 

     

    Protecting U.S. national security at home

    Annually, President Biden submits a global defense letter to Congress, outlining his intentions for US military protection, areas of emphasis, and their resulting costs. What follows is a synopsis of his recent writing:    

    Integrated deterrence: A holistic approach

    Last year, the National Defense Strategy unveiled a vital component of the DoD’s mission—Integrated Deterrence. This multifaceted strategy fuses a spectrum of deterrence mechanisms, including deterrence by denial, deterrence by resilience, deterrence by direct cost imposition, and collective deterrence with US allies and partners. 

    In this context, deterrence means using all available tools to ensure potential adversaries understand the consequences of hostile action. In essence, it’s a form of high-stakes political communication that clearly outlines punishment should our enemies choose to commit large-scale crimes against us. Its primary aim? Defend our nation’s status quo without overt military action. 

    Integrated deterrence is a comprehensive approach that spans national power and international collaboration, with the DoD working hand-in-hand with interagency partners and international alliances. 

    In safeguarding our homeland, deterrence aims are to bolster our resilience and enhance our combat credibility. For instance, the US maintains a credible deterrence against large-scale and limited nuclear threats from various adversaries. Simultaneously, we improve the ability of US forces to operate effectively during or after limited nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks, thereby diminishing the military advantage adversaries might gain from such advances.

    A concrete example of our commitment lies in the ongoing modernization of US nuclear forces and the advancement of Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3) systems. 

    Also, the DoD collaborates closely with the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to modernize our nuclear weapon production capabilities. To deter potential attacks by the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Department focuses on enhancing the resilience of systems that might be targets while striving for readiness.

    The Department fortifies its capabilities and credibility to counter potential threats from Russia, reinforcing our unwavering treaty commitments against nuclear-armed aggression. In the short term, the US emphasizes resilience, interoperability, intelligence sharing, and extended nuclear deterrence. Over time, US efforts center on bolstering denial capabilities and vital enablers within NATO's force planning, while our allies work to enhance their conventional warfighting capabilities. 

    For nations bordering Russia, the DoD lends support in building response options. Our approach to deterring North Korean and Iranian threats involves enhancing partner capabilities, particularly in air and missile defense. Close coordination with our Republic of Korea (ROK) ally drives nuclear deterrence, resilience initiatives, and potential direct-cost imposition strategies. All play pivotal roles in keeping us protected. 

    Recapitalization of the nuclear triad

    The DoD is steadfastly committed to modernizing our nuclear forces, NC3 systems, and production infrastructure, at the same time preserving fielded systems.

    With bipartisan congressional support, these crucial modernization programs request funding in the FY2024 budget request. Many US nuclear deterrence delivery systems, dating back to the 1980s and earlier, are nearing the end of their service lives, projected to retire between 2025 and 2035. Replacement initiatives are underway to ensure no capability gaps emerge during this transition period. There's minimal room for error.

    Over the next two decades, revitalizing nuclear platforms, delivery systems, and associated support infrastructure will require significant investment—essential to maintain the integrity of our nuclear deterrence, a cornerstone of US national security.

     

    Protecting US national security abroad

    Outcompeting China globally

    Top priority overseas? Outcompete PRC globally. The nation is a unique challenge to the US, as it aims to reshape the international order and the growing economic, diplomatic, military, and technological capabilities inherent in such a reshaping. 

    The current security budget proposes a dedicated $6 billion mandatory allocation to bolster the US role in the Indo-Pacific region and promote American prosperity worldwide. This funding enables the US  to pursue critical investments, including:

    1. Transformative infrastructure. We’re scheduling high-quality, sustainable infrastructure investments internationally while countering predatory PRC financing, offering countries an appealing alternative. These investments expand markets and opportunities for US businesses, including defense and entrepreneurial contracting firms.  
    2. Empowering early-stage companies. Similarly, the Government is establishing a new US International Development Finance Corporation equity revolving fund. This fund supports developmental investments for early and growth-stage companies in low and lower-middle-income countries, enhancing their capabilities without indebting them.
    3. Strengthening the Indo-Pacific. We make strategic investments to boost economies and empower our regional partners to resist exploitative PRC efforts.

    The current military budget also seeks to renew the Compacts of Free Association (COFA) with the Freely Associated States (FAS) of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. With a historical bond as the foundation of our Pacific engagement, we allocated $7.1 billion in mandatory funds over two decades to support the COFA.

    Deepening alliances & partnerships in the Indo-Pacific

    The budget builds upon our discretionary investments, allocating over $2.3 billion to the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the Indo-Pacific and our regional partners. As we strive to "invest, align, and compete" with China, expanding our regional investment is imperative to demonstrate unwavering support to partner nations worldwide.

    Promoting Integrated Deterrence in the Indo-Pacific & globally

    Prioritizing China as our foremost pacing challenge, the budget emphasizes the Indo-Pacific in line with the current National Defense Strategy. The Department of Defense's 2024 Pacific Deterrence Initiative involves targeted investments totaling $9.1 billion, enhancing US force posture, infrastructure, presence, readiness, and support for allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

    We are also increasing security cooperation funding for the Indo-Pacific, focusing on domain awareness, logistics, cybersecurity, and command and control areas. Investments directly affect critical weapons and munitions production, the development of capabilities like long-range strikes, undersea technologies, hypersonic systems, and autonomous platforms, and the fortification of our space architectures—all aligned with policies to strengthen deterrence.

    Confronting threats to global security

    The US commitment to support NATO allies and European and Middle East partners in the face of ongoing aggression has never been more substantial. Prioritizing funding enhances the capabilities and readiness of US forces and strengthens the bonds with our regional partners.

    While maintaining robust deterrence, the budget also equips the DoD to counter persistent threats posed by violent extremist organizations.

    As of October 2023, the Biden administration outlined a $105 billion national security package that includes military and humanitarian assistance for current global conflicts. 

    Advancing U.S. cybersecurity

    The current DoD budget underscores the significance of cybersecurity as a cornerstone of our national security. Over $395 million is allocated to advance global cyber and digital development initiatives, strengthening our cyber defenses and securing critical infrastructure, communications, and data.

     

    Get your share of the DoD budget using ProPricer

    With the most significant military budget in the world, the US DoD is a prime way for your enterprise or small business to break into government contracting. You can generate consistent, moderate income for years if you establish the right relationships. 

    One way to ensure this is to submit your DoD contract proposals in the format most government agencies prefer, using ProPricer Contractor Edition. 

    A powerful mirror of ProPricer Government Edition—the proposal evaluation platform agencies use—ProPricer Contractor Edition allows you to analyze your proposal through different business lenses, quickly adjust costs and pricing during iterations, and update critical narrative sections—all with a few clicks of your mouse. 

    Do your part to protect our nation stateside and abroad in the most efficient way possible while guaranteeing your business a reasonable rate of return. Contact us for a ProPricer demo now >  

     

    Sources 

    1. Statista Research: Countries with the Highest Military Spending Worldwide in 2022 
    2. Fact Sheet: President Biden’s Budget Keeps America Safe and Confronts Global Challenges
    3. Foreign Policy for America: Defense Budget 
    4. Office of the Under Secretary of Defense: Defense Budget Overview 2024

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