State of the Union: Biden Faces Ukraine War and Defense Budget Battles

The conflict in Ukraine and the Republican-led House's plans for defense spending are some of the issues that Joe Biden will face as the new US president.

Two weeks before the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, Biden will deliver his State of the Union speech on February 8. Since Russia's invasion, the US Congress has approved over $100 billion in aid for Ukraine. However, some members of the Republican-controlled House want to see the aid reduced.

Both Russia and Ukraine are planning on launching new offensives in the spring. Biden's decision to give Ukraine with tanks and other military equipment was an indirect boost to the country's outlook. On January 25, he announced that the US would be acquiring 31 M1A2-A2 tanks. However, the American tanks will not be able to reach the battlefield for a long time.

In the US, the military is training about 500 Ukrainian soldiers on how to use the Patriot missile system. Also, the US is providing them with various weapons and equipment, such as howitzers and armored vehicles. Over 3,100 Ukrainian troops have been trained on how to use these weapons and other equipment. Similar exercises have been conducted in other countries.

Before becoming House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy had to make some concessions to conservative members of the House in order to gain control of the gavel. One of these was agreeing to reduce the defense budget. According to reports, he agreed to a cap on the spending of the military at 2022 levels. This would result in a reduction of about $80 billion in the budget of the Pentagon.

On January 15, McCarthy stated that if the country's defense spending were to return to its previous levels, it would not reduce the budget by around $75 billion. He noted that there are areas where the US could be more efficient. One of these is ending the use of "wokeism," as well as cutting down on waste and looking for other fuels.

Despite the opposition from some members of the House, McCarthy was still able to create a select committee that was focused on combating the growing threat from China. The country's Communist Party is considered to be the main challenge to the international order. The Pentagon also warned that it could affect the US' ability to influence the world.

China's military is constantly developing its weapons and escalating its hostile behavior toward Taiwan, which it considers to be an independent country.

On January 27, a four-star Air Force general told his officers about his concerns about the growing threat from China and the preparations for a potential war with the country. Although his opinions are not shared by the entire department, he noted that the US should prepare for a war with China by 2025.

According to General Michael Minihan, the head of Air Mobility Command, he believes that the US and China will start a war in 2025. He noted that the country's president, Xi Jinping, was able to secure his third term in 2022. Also, due to the presidential elections in Taiwan in 2024, as well as the US' elections in 2024, Xi will be able to divert attention from the country.

On January 11, Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, said that there has been an increase in the activity around Taiwan. However, he noted that he did not think that a Chinese invasion was imminent. In November, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs, said that a potential invasion of Taiwan would be too risky for China's president at this time.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.

Written by Staff Reports

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