FY 2022 Defense Markup Includes Sullivan-Authored Arctic Security Initiative
NDAA Tops President’s “Inadequate” Defense Budget Proposal by $25 Billion
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), voted with 22 of his colleagues this week to advance from committee the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would raise the Department of Defense’s (DOD) budget by $25 billion beyond President Joe Biden’s defense budget proposal. Senator Sullivan has argued repeatedly over the past several weeks that the president’s defense budget is inadequate, not even keeping pace with inflation and amounting to a cut.
“The Armed Services Committee has delivered an overwhelming, bipartisan rebuke of President Biden’s inadequate budget proposal, raising the Pentagon’s budget in this year’s NDAA at the pace recommended by the 2018 bipartisan defense strategy commission,” said Senator Sullivan. “I applaud my colleagues—Republicans and Democrats—on the committee for doing what the president and far-left members of the administration failed to do—prioritizing our national security and our troops.
“I’m glad to report that the FY 2022 defense authorization also includes a number of vital provisions that I secured recognizing the strategic importance of Alaska to our nation’s defense. Chief among these is the new ‘Arctic Security Initiative.’ This initiative will direct the Pentagon to identify the resources and activities needed to fully fund and implement the series of Arctic strategies that we worked so hard to get the military departments to release over the past few years. The ASI will ultimately mean more focus, personnel, vessels, infrastructure, aircraft and investment being directed to America’s Arctic—to Alaska—in defense of our nation’s interests in this critically-important region.”
Congress has historically only authorized two region-specific security initiatives—the European Defense Initiative in 2014, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) in 2021, following China’s militarization of the South China Sea and other provocative actions in Asia. Senator Sullivan was able to include a provision authorizing a third such initiative in the FY 2022 NDAA—the Arctic Security Initiative (ASI), which features a five-year plan to fully resource the DOD’s and individual service-specific strategies for the Arctic that have been released over the past several years.
In addition to authorizing the ASI, the FY 2022 NDAA:
- Increases funding for national defense by $25 billion beyond President Biden’s request, matching the National Defense Strategy Commission’s minimum recommendation of 3 percent real growth, bringing the total funding authorized for the DOD and nuclear weapons activities to a total of $777.9 billion;
- Provides America’s service members with a 2.7 percent pay raise, makes necessary improvements to military health care, continues efforts to guarantee military spouses have access to meaningful employment, provides service members with dedicated bereavement leave, and ensures military families have access to high-quality housing;
- Increases resources for the new Pacific Deterrence Initiative by $1 billion for the United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) commander’s highest priorities;
- Hardens America’s defense industrial base and supply chain against threats posed by China;
- Focuses attention on U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation, including asymmetric military capabilities;
- Requires an assessment of current and emerging offensive capabilities of China and other adversaries and disclosures of any printed circuit boards sourced from China;
- Accelerates research and development of key modernization technologies at the heart of strategic competition with China;
- Adds more than $2.5 billion for shipbuilding, with funding for an additional destroyer;
- Provides the largest investment in military construction in a decade—$12.735 billion—nearly $2.9 billion more than the president requested;
- Emphasizes the importance of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD);
- Provides key support for America’s allies, including Taiwan, Ukraine, Israel, and Afghan civilians and translators who supported U.S. counterterrorism efforts;
- Continues to limit military cooperation between the U.S. and Russia, rejects Russian aggression, and authorizes an increase of $50 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative;
- Invests in defense technology to put America ahead of its global competitors, including microelectronics, artificial intelligence, 5G, hypersonic weapons, and directed energy;
- Fully funds United States Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) and protects against persistent cyberattacks by assessing and strengthening America’s offensive and defensive capabilities;
- Authorizes the DOD to transport Afghan special immigrant visa (SIV) candidates and other threatened Afghan partners outside of Afghanistan for visa processing;
- Requires military contractors to disclose any training related to critical race theory.
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