How Bipartisan Anti-China Rhetoric Is Being Used to Increase U.S. Military Spending

NPP Pressroom

In These Times
Sarah Lazare

With lit­tle pub­lic atten­tion or debate, the call for greater con­fronta­tion with Chi­na is being used by both Repub­li­cans and Democ­rats to jus­ti­fy fun­nel­ing bil­lions more in spend­ing toward the Pentagon’s bud­get and pur­sue mil­i­tary buildup across the Asia-Pacif­ic region. The con­gres­sion­al push to beef up the 2021Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act (NDAA), which deter­mines the annu­al bud­get of the Depart­ment of Defense, is rais­ing con­cern among some anti-war advo­cates, who oppose efforts to fur­ther mil­i­ta­rize U.S. soci­ety by cast­ing Chi­na as America’s num­ber-one enemy.

The Sen­ate ver­sion of the NDAA, which passed on July 23 in a vote of 86 – 14, allo­cates $6 bil­lion to the ‚Äč“Pacif­ic Deter­rence Ini­tia­tive” over the course of two years: $1.4 bil­lion in 2021 and $5.5 bil­lion in 2022, accord­ing to Lind­say Koshgar­i­an, the pro­gram direc­tor of the Nation­al Pri­or­i­ties Project and an expert in mil­i­tary budgets.

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