US Indo-Pacific Command asks for funding of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative

A US Naval Carrier
A US Naval Carrier (Source: Wikimedia Commons).

The US military’s unified combat command for the Indian and Pacific regions is looking for more money to fund a crucial military program in the transpacific deterrence to China.

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By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent

The US Naval Institute reports that the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) for the United States military is lobbying for a hefty $4.68 billion to augment the year-old Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI).

Legislative affairs staff for Indo-Pacific and the US Department of Defense outlined the request in a budget presented to Congress.

“The PDI is structured to enhance budget transparency and oversight while focusing resources on vital military capabilities to deter China,” reads a budget document reviewed by the US Naval Institute.

The Naval Institute is a private charity foundation and think-tank that advocates for the US Navy and its maritime armed services like the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps.

“The requirements outlined in this report are specifically designed to persuade potential adversaries that any preemptive military action will be too costly and likely to fail by projecting credible, combat power at the time of crisis,” notes the document. “This includes providing several flexible deterrent options including full OPLAN execution if deterrence should fail.”

In English, the United States has developed a strong position to enhance transnational maritime security.

According to the document, in addition to $4.68 billion in Fiscal Year 2022, INDOPACOM wants $22.69 billion from FY 2023 through FY 2027 to meet its objectives, according to the document, which mirrors INDOPACOM’s request from last year.

“PDI provides a pragmatic and economically viable approach for implementing a deterrence strategy for defending U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific while mitigating risk and avoiding escalation,” the document adds.

“Funding levels for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) in FY22 ($4.6B) is less than seven-tenths of 1% of the Department of Defense’s Total Obligating Authority in FY21, and two-thirds the amount spent on the European Defense Initiative in FY20 ($5.9B).”

PDI was an initiative launched by the Pentagon during the Trump administration.

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