To execute the core elements of our National Security with effective Missile Defense capabilities, the National Security enterprise must ensure the integration of strategy to policy to resources. This is especially critical as we examine the growing strategic threats arrays against the homeland from China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and Afghanistan, and recognize that we are currently overmatched by these threats. The consequences may be lethal. Moreover, the continued delays in the delivery of the requisite 1650 Report to Congress serve to increase risk to our national security by potentially delaying Congressional action. Unfortunately, the strategic risk only grows stronger without the requisite funding that should be advanced and appropriated by both DoD and Congress respectively- with strategic unity of purpose.
The confusion sown by the failure to submit the 1650 report is obvious. In July, the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee’s recommended reducing and minimizing allocations to the air and missile defense of Guam, because they had not received the 1650 Report from the Department of Defense (which is widely understood to have been submitted in May of this year) (Stabilizing Force).
This new $194.5 million increase would fund U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s No. 1 modernization request to defend Guam. Still, it falls short and does not match the $231.7 million recommendation that INDOPACOM Commander ADM John Aquilino sent lawmakers for FY-22 in June. The 1650 Report presents the justification, fidelity, and clarity to the Appropriators of where the $231.7 million is being spent for the Integrated Air and Missile Defense of Guam.
Without this report being released to Congress and even without the authorization by the HASC for the $195.5 increase, Congress will not appropriate the funds. The importance of the air and missile defense of Guam cannot be overstated. It is a strategic imperative, as Guam represents a critical cornerstone for our broader Indo-Pacific Strategy and Campaign Design. Guam is a vital power-projection platform and key component of the U.S. blueprint for Global Strategic Deterrence and Defense- most significantly for the threats posed by China, Russia, and North Korea across the Indo-Pacific theater.
Looking beyond the Defense of Guam issues, the HASC’s $24 billion spending increase for the 2022 defense policy bill has been adopted as part of a finalized spending package to be authorized by Congress. The marks match the Senate recommendations from last month and seek to raise the budget to approximately $740 billion from President Biden’s $715 billion blueprint for DoD’s budget. President Biden’s budget represents only a 1.7% increase from the FY 2021 budget. The HASC proposition is in line with the 3-5% increase that both the House and Senate are seeking. This $24 billion spending increase includes an additional $780 million allocated for missile defense spending.
Now is the time to avoid another strategy-policy-resource mismatch. We must fully fund recommendations for the defense of Guam and for the broader missile defense architecture across the Indo-Pacific. Key to this is the Department of Defense releasing the 1650 Report that reflect MDA’s subject matter expert recommendations on how to develop and build this system.