Biden Administration Wrong to Seek Defense Spending Cuts While Adversaries Keep Investing
‘Whether this Administration likes it or not, we are locked in a race with adversaries who plan decades ahead. A lack of resolve will compound on itself and invite disaster. That cannot be the legacy President Biden hopes to leave.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding foreign policy:
“Yesterday I discussed how the Biden Administration’s wishful thinking has set them up for foreign policy failure in Central Asia and the Middle East.
“The likely catastrophe in Afghanistan may well consume this Administration, and distract from the challenges posed by competition with Russia and China.
“And the President’s meager defense budget proposal suggests his administration isn’t taking strategic competition very seriously to begin with.
“Russia and China have spent years investing heavily in military modernization with a specific eye toward threatening U.S. forces. We spent the previous administration repairing the readiness of our forces and beginning to modernize after years on the back foot.
“A bipartisan commission concluded we would need sustained increases in defense funding to successfully counter the growing Russian and Chinese capabilities. And yet, adjusting for inflation, President Biden’s proposal would amount to a reduction in spending.
“This administration has talked tough with both these rivals, and I’ve given credit where credit’s been due. But when the time came to speak in the languages that Putin and Xi understand best — money, and power — this White House flinched.
“Just last week, Russia reminded us of the threat it poses to Europe with a massive mobilization of forces on Ukraine’s border.
“NATO allies are already struggling to meet their commitments on collective security.
“Would declining American spending make Putin more likely, or less likely, to think twice next time?
“And what about China? Would China be more likely, or less likely, to respect its neighbors’ territorial waters if the U.S. stops contending for an edge in naval and long-range capabilities, and lets ourselves fall behind?
“The head of U.S. Strategic Command reported last week that both Russia and China are modernizing their nuclear arsenals faster than the United States.
“He warned that if we fail to keep pace, we will be, quote, ‘at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries.’
“Our nuclear triad has preserved the peace for decades. But crucial components are now decades older than the men and women we have operating them.
“If we want to maintain effective deterrence, we have to modernize.
“Whether this Administration likes it or not, we are locked in a race with adversaries who plan decades ahead. A lack of resolve will compound on itself and invite disaster.
“That cannot be the legacy President Biden hopes to leave.”
Related Issues: Afghanistan, China, Russia, America's Military