Senate hearing to be held on US military commands

The US Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct a hearing on the posture of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and

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Photo: Department of Defense

The US Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct a hearing on the posture of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and Space Command (USSPACECOM) forces today.

The hearing comes as Congress considers budget appropriation requests for 2022, in light of the Biden administration’s recently released preliminary proposal. The proposed budget allocates significant funding to domestic agencies. It also raises defense spending by 2%, rather than the 3%-5% annual increase often sought by Republican lawmakers. Both combatant commands continue to advocate modernizing US military capabilities, arguing that aging equipment risks US security—particularly in cyberspace and in orbit, where Russian cyberattacks and Chinese anti-satellite weapon development increasingly threatens US defensive systems.

Expect USSTRATCOM and USSPACECOM officials to press the committee to approve the Biden administration’s proposal while prioritizing targeted spending to improve cyber resilience of systems including the Nuclear Command, Control and Communications network. Still, while the budget increase is limited relative to prior years, it is likely adequate support for some level of modernization. The committee, chaired by Democratic Senator Jack Reed, will likely accept the Biden administration’s proposals. Given objections from Republicans—who contend that the sought increase is insufficient—the proposal is likely to be approved on a partisan basis.

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