In his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee today regarding the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2024 budget request, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark A. Milley argued that if there is to be peace between the United States, China, and Russia, the United States must continue to be the most powerful country on Earth.
For the first time, the United States is in conflict with two powerful nuclear nations over crucial national security issues. He claimed that both China and Russia have the capability to endanger American national security. “However, neither an imminent nor inevitable war with either exists.”
He continued that it would be very challenging to fight a battle with both Russia and China at the same time.
According to him, a high level of preparedness and upgrading will ward off hostility, and the $842 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2024 will guarantee that the combined force stays the most potent and competent military in the world.
There is nothing more costly than waging a war, he said. “Preparing for war will prevent that war, but fighting a war is the most expensive.
Milley detailed American, ally, and partner measures to ensure worldwide security.
He argued that continuing security support to Ukraine is in the country’s best interests.
He claimed that Iran has made steps to increase its capacity to build nuclear weapons.
Iran could create enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks from the moment of an Iranian decision, and it would only take a few more months to build a functional nuclear bomb, according to Milley.
If or when Iran chooses to create a nuclear device, the US military has devised a number of alternatives for our national leadership to take into account, he said.
The chairman stated that as a matter of policy, the United States is still dedicated to ensuring that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.
According to him, the United States’ country, friends, and partners are in danger due to North Korea’s ongoing ballistic missile tests and nuclear weapons development.
In order to continue deterring North Korean threats, he said, “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Republic of Korea.”
Along with South Korea, mutual partnerships with other nations, including Japan, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines, as well as associate countries, boost security in the area in response to China’s hostile actions.
According to Milley, there are close to 250,000 soldiers fighting terrorists and collaborating with friends and partners across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
The United States military is prepared, he declared. “Operational readiness rates are higher now than they’ve been in many years. Currently, 60% of our active force is at the highest state of readiness and could deploy to combat in less than 30 days, far exceeding the minimum of the one-third standard that we’ve always had. 10% of our force could deploy in less than 96 hours.
In his testimony, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III emphasized the significance of swiftly approving this “strategy-driven budget.”
The proposed funding will support military personnel and their families in addition to preparedness and upgrading, he said.
An on-time, full-year allocation is “the single most effective way that this committee can support the department and our outstanding troops,” Austin said.