March 09, 2023

Biden Budget Expected to Stiff the Indo-Pacific

Source: Foreign Policy

Journalist: Jack Detsch

“We’re really bad about pouring concrete in the Indo-Pacific,” said Becca Wasser, a senior fellow and lead of the gaming lab at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank. She said that the Pentagon would need to build more infrastructure in the Philippines, including runways to land heavier transportation aircraft, send more prepositioned stocks forward, and reinforce munitions and fuel depots to protect against aerial attacks.

Adding to the frustration, the Pentagon doesn’t have a separate spending account for the Indo-Pacific. The so-called Pacific Deterrence Initiative, named after the European counterpart set up after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, is not structured like its predecessor, which was drawn out of a now-defunct post-9/11 Pentagon war fund that was not subject to congressional budget caps. Instead, the Pentagon flags things it is already doing as activities under the rubric of the deterrence initiative.

“Concrete has no constituency in Congress,” Wasser added. “[Military construction] doesn’t get attention.

Read the full story and more from Foreign Policy.

Authors

  • Becca Wasser

    Senior Fellow, Defense Program

    Becca Wasser is a Senior Fellow for the Defense Program and lead of The Gaming Lab at the Center for a New American Security. Her research areas include defense strategy and o...