Indo-Pacific Command Asks For Staggering $11 Billion More Than Biden Budget Request Amid China Threat

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), which oversees U.S. military operations in the Indo-Pacific region, requested an additional $11 billion for programs not included in the Pentagon’s official budget request for fiscal year 2025, according to a report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The administration hopes to boost its defenses in the Pacific as China balloons its military and conducts increasingly aggressive activities in the Indo-Pacific region. The largest components of INDOPACOM’s so-called “unfunded priorities” list include major construction projects in the Indo-Pacific, classified space-related programs and accelerating plans to beef up ammunition arsenals, according to the report submitted to Congress Tuesday that was obtained by the DCNF.

Congress requires combatant commands and military departments to submit lists of programs and activities that did not make it into the president’s final budget request but that the military would fund if Congress appropriated the money. (RELATED: Defense Official Says European Ammo Production Is Leaving America In The Dust. That’s Nonsense, Experts Say)

Experts previously told the DCNF the Biden administration’s budget request fell woefully short of the White House’s promise to reorient the U.S. defense posture toward the Pacific and improve the military’s ability to counter China’s rising threat.

INDOPACOM’s $11 billion request is more than three times as large as the $3.5 billion unfunded priorities list for fiscal year 2024, according to Defense News.

INDOPACOM asked for $3.3 billion alone in military construction for the Army and Navy to “develop and deliver footprint requirements in a timely manner.” The request follows a slate of agreements in 2023 setting the diplomatic groundwork to expand U.S. bases and related infrastructure, such as for pre-positioning supplies, with regional partners.

It also includes more than $1 billion to accelerate the development and production of the Maritime Strike version of the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Another $766.9 million would go to the Navy to buy more Standard Missile-6s and a further $396.9 million to hasten bringing the Hammerhead mines, which are “designed to be delivered by unmanned underwater vehicles and surface vessels,” into operation.

Wargames conducted in recent years, and the U.S. Navy’s ongoing activities in the Red Sea to defend against Houthi missile and drone attacks or conduct counterstrikes on Houthi assets, have underscored deficiencies in the American military’s munitions stockpiles. Pentagon officials have warned that a fight with China would rapidly deplete inventories while the U.S. could not resupply forces fast enough.

🇺🇸–🇯🇵@USPacificFleet, @PacificMarines, @JGSDF_pr & @jmsdf_pao_eng conclude #IronFist24, a #JointForce exercise enhancing interoperability & combined #Readiness to operate in support of a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific.


📍 #Japan

📸 Cpl Juan K. Maldonado

— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) March 19, 2024

INDOPACOM asked for $580,700 for “campaigning,” described in the document as providing the means for forces assigned to INDOPACOM “to conduct and sequence logically-linked military initiatives aimed at advancing well-defined, strategy-aligned priorities over time.”

About $1.4 billion would go to classified space programs, including space-based sensors to monitor missile threats, the report showed.

The combatant command said it needs $430,o00 more for the Guam Missile Defense System, the report showed.

It’s unclear how many of the programs in the report will receive funding, however.

Congress has capped the defense budget for fiscal year 2025 at $895 billion, a result of a compromise to avert a debt default while offering concessions to fiscally-concerned conservatives.

The DOD’s budget request that was unveiled topped out at $849.8 billion, nearly what Congress enacted for fiscal year 2023.

INDOPACOM declined to comment.

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