Arms Race

Western Nations Ramp Up Defense Spending to Counter Russia and China

Main image to the post Western Nations Ramp Up Defense Spending to Counter Russia and China

Western Defense Spending to Remain High, Arms Manufacturers Told

The United States and its allies plan to continue increasing defense spending, ensuring long-term demand for weapons, according to US Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks. Speaking at a NATO event, Hicks praised member nations for boosting military budgets since 2014, with an average annual increase of 72% after adjusting for inflation. This marks a significant shift from previous decades of inconsistent funding and uncertain demand signals.

Hicks emphasized the importance of production for both deterrence and preparedness for potential protracted conflicts. She expressed confidence in the ability of Western arms manufacturers to outcompete rivals like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. This includes ensuring readiness for prolonged warfare, not just in Europe but globally.

The official highlighted the benefits of Western political systems for building "arsenals of democracy," citing their ability to foster innovation and transnational cooperation. In contrast, she argued that autocracies struggle to move beyond basic military maneuvers.

The Pentagon is actively seeking ways to improve its support for the defense industry, including streamlining internal processes, providing targeted investments, and offering security services to weapons businesses.

Hicks' statement comes amidst ongoing tensions with Russia and China. Moscow views NATO as a tool for US geopolitical ambitions and a means to secure a permanent market for American weapons in Europe. Beijing, meanwhile, accuses the US of Cold War mentality and engaging in zero-sum games with non-Western nations.

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Round userpic of the post author Kyle Broflovski
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May 21, 2023 | 05:09