By DoD News
By Jim Garamone
President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve a supplemental budget request for fiscal 2024 that will allow Ukraine to continue its fight against Russian invaders and deliver military capabilities to Israel as they confront Hamas terrorists.
If Congress passes the supplemental request, it will also provide money for crucial needs in the Indo-Pacific, including strengthening the U.S. submarine industrial base — a key component to the Australia-United Kingdom-United States military agreement.
The money is crucial to U.S. national security, President Joe Biden said during a prime time broadcast from the White House last night. Countering the brutal Hamas terrorists in the Middle East and helping Ukraine defeat President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their country will enhance security worldwide, the president said. Failure to do this would reward terrorists and dictators and embolden them to continue their assaults on democracy, the president said.
This supplementary request would enable Israel and Ukraine to continue their fights.
“This supplemental request invests over $50 billion in the American defense industrial base, ensuring our military continues to be the most ready, capable and best-equipped fighting force the world has ever seen,” said Salanda D. Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, in a letter to the House of Representatives. “The funding will expand production lines, strengthen the American economy, keep us safe and create new American jobs.”
The supplemental request also contains humanitarian aid to those impacted by the Hamas attacks in Gaza and suffering from the brutal Russian invasion. There is also money for border security.
The request also “provides resources to ensure we can compete with China by offering developing countries a better value proposition, and it supports U.S. capabilities and initiatives that bolster security and stability in the Indo-Pacific,” Young wrote.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the budget request comes amid a global inflection point, and it needs to be approved soon. Following the attacks on Israel, the U.S. delivered military aid to protect the people of the country from Hamas. These included interceptor rockets for the Iron Dome missile defense system. “The administration is now requesting funding to invest in Israel’s defense against terrorists, including by strengthening its air and missile defense systems,” Sullivan said. “We are requesting an increase in security assistance for Israel to help it protect its people as well as the many Americans who live in Israel and travel to Israel.”
Sullivan said the United States must continue to stand up to tyranny and aggression and defend Ukraine against the Russian invasion. “We know from history that if we walk away and let someone like Vladimir Putin erase Ukraine’s independence, he will not stop there and would-be aggressors around the world would be emboldened. We have to send the unmistakable message that, in the 21st century, a dictator cannot be allowed to conquer or carve up his neighbor.”
Not funding Ukraine would send the message that dictators could outwait the United States because the country would walk away from allies, Sullivan said.
The weapons and military aid the United States and members of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group provided have helped Ukraine. The country uses the aid in its efforts to win the battles for Kyiv, Kherson and Kharkiv.
“However, the funding and authorities the Congress previously approved overwhelmingly has nearly run out, and we need congressional action to ensure that we can continue to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs and protect its people while they’re under attack,” Sullivan said.
The supplemental budget request will also strengthen deterrence in the Indo-Pacific and support key allies and partners as part of U.S. efforts to maintain peace and stability, the national security advisor said. “Our allies and partners in the region need our support more than ever, and this request provides significant new resources to help them build the capabilities necessary to meet emerging challenges,” he said.