Pentagon struggling to pay for Middle East buildup – Politico — RT World News

The US military must settle for an interim budget that freezes defense funding at previous year’s levels

The Pentagon is scrambling to find money to pay for a military buildup in the Middle East amid the conflict between Hamas and Israel due to gridlock in the US Congress, which has so far been unable to approve full funding for defense, Politico reported on Tuesday.

The US Department of Defense, along with several other federal agencies, is now operating under a temporary funding bill signed by US President Joe Biden earlier this month to avoid a potential government shutdown. The measure, which did not meet Biden’s request for additional funds for Israel and Ukraine, also froze other types of defense spending at the previous year’s levels.

Pentagon spokesman Chris Sherwood told Politico that since there were no plans for a large-scale redeployment of US forces to the Middle East after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the military “Had to withdraw funds from existing operations and maintenance accounts.” This means less funding for training and deployments that are already planned.

“We’re bringing him out of hiding.” The speaker said.

Since the beginning of the Middle East crisis, the United States has deployed to the region two aircraft carriers with escorts, additional missile and air defense systems, more than a thousand troops, and an Ohio-class nuclear-powered missile submarine.

The military reinforcement came at a time when the United States declared its absolute support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian armed movement Hamas, as well as fears that the hostilities would lead to a major regional escalation involving Iran and Islamic organizations that have relations with Tehran.

US defense officials have previously sounded the alarm about gridlock in Congress, warning that a funding shortfall could harm not only shipbuilding and procurement programs, but the industrial base itself.

Speaking to Defense News, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Radha Plumb did not rule out the possibility of this happening “Additional domino effect of delay.” Noting that suppliers may be severely affected by this matter in particular.

Meanwhile, Under Secretary of Defense Bill LaPlante warned of possible layoffs at contracting companies due to a lack of Pentagon funding.

According to Politico, if US lawmakers cannot pass a full spending bill by spring, the Pentagon and other federal departments will have to reduce their overall spending by 1%.

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