Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Biden Wants to Increase the Military Budget

Biden’s request for a $715 billion military budget is a reminder that imperialism is bipartisan. It will take a militant, worker-led movement to counter such egregious investments in war.

Samuel Karlin

June 2, 2021
Facebook Twitter Share
SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

Despite President Biden’s claims that there is no money for universal healthcare or student debt forgiveness, his administration has no problem requesting hundreds of billions of dollars for an already bloated U.S. military budget. On May 27, the Biden administration requested $715 billion for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year of 2022 — a 1.6 percent increase from 2021.

The budget proposal does not hide that much of this war spending will be used to escalate conflicts with China and Russia. In fact, it says early on that “The United States military faces substantial challenges, emanating from countries like China and Russia, and from threats to global security, such as from climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

Though the U.S. is still the most powerful country in the world both economically and militarily, the Biden administration is escalating tensions with China and Russia in a desperate attempt to restore much of the global hegemony that U.S. capital lost in the last decade. As powers like China and Russia assert their own influence in areas where the United States has lost its grip, the imperialists will try to convince workers to support this strategic competition. But such conflicts have only ever caused mass death and destruction of homes, hospitals, and schools, while creating increased  profits for the so-called “defense” industry. 

A particularly terrifying portion of the budget will go to nuclear weapons. While the Biden administration fearmongers around the idea of Iran and North Korea developing a nuclear arsenal, it is requesting $27.7 billion for “Nuclear Modernization” which would include a $3 billion B-21 long-range strike bomber, a $5 billion COLUMBIA-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine, and $609 million Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) Missile. This large increase in nuclear weapons is concerning enough even before one considers that the United States is the only country in history to have ever used nuclear weapons.

$715 billion is not just an abstract number — it is spending that continues to fund a global empire and its almost 800 foreign bases. This money could go to healthcare, housing, education, and other vital needs of workers in the United States, but instead it’s going to an institution which destroys other nations and makes life worse for workers in those countries.

This military budget also goes along with aggressive posturing of Biden and his administration against countries in competition with the United States, such as China and Russia. Such posturing only increases the likelihood of conflict. Should a conflict come from the Biden administration’s escalations, it will be workers who are put in harm’s way.

U.S. imperialism is bipartisan. Obscene military spending will not end until working-class people in the United States, here in the heart of imperialism, form a militant anti-war and anti-imperialist movement. Such an anti-war movement will also have to be in opposition to capitalism, given that imperialism is essential to the accumulation of capital. So long as capitalism remains in place, war will always continue to arise from the system’s contradictions. Fortunately, this year has already shown that such opposition to imperialism is not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Biden received significant scrutiny for prioritizing capitalist interests when Covid-19 was devastating India, and last month, millions took to the streets to show solidarity with Palestinians. At many of the protests in the United States, there was strong opposition to Biden’s backing of Israel’s violence against Palestine. It’s clear that Biden is not “less evil”: he holds up the same capitalist, imperialist system. This recent spike in international solidarity is promising. Socialists can add to it by highlighting the egregious examples of pro-war priorities, as well as the power workers have to weaken imperialist efforts. Anti-imperialism must continue to be a priority until capitalism and its hundreds of billions of dollars for war are a thing of the past.

Facebook Twitter Share

Samuel Karlin

Samuel Karlin is a socialist with a background in journalism. He mainly writes for Left Voice about U.S. imperialism and international class struggle.

United States

Protesters carrying Palestinian flags march on a street in front of a line of cops

Activists, Including Left Voice and Detroit Will Breathe Members, Arrested at Protest of Biden in Detroit, Free All Arrested and Drop All Charges

Detroit police brutally arrested activists who were protesting outside of Biden's speech to the NAACP.

Left Voice

May 19, 2024
Tents at the Rutgers University in NJ during the Palestine encampment in May, 2024

What the Movement for Palestine Can Learn from the Rutgers Encampment Deal

The Gaza solidarity encampment at Rutgers New Brunswick ended in a deal between the administration and a negotiations team at the camp. It’s been a highly controversial decision. The experience at Rutgers shows the need for a truly democratic, bottom-up fight for Palestine.

Jason Koslowski

May 17, 2024
Pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA in May, 2024.

“The Working Class has the Power to Stop this Genocide”: Interview with a UAW 4811 Rank and Filer

On Thursday May 15, 48,000 UAW Academic workers voted to authorize a strike, the largest academic workers union in the country to do so. Left Voice interviewed UAW 4811 member Peter Ross about what sparked this historic vote, and the labor movement’s fight for Palestine

Julia Wallace

May 16, 2024

Nakba Day: CUNY Faculty Stand Against Repression and for Palestine

On Nakba Day, faculty across different CUNY schools mobilized for Palestine and against the repression of protesters. The actions, organized through an assembly of workers, point toward the solidarity needed to continue and expand the student movement and fight for a free Palestine.

MOST RECENT

A Russian tank fires toward Kharkiv on the May 10 offensive against Ukraine.

Russia’s Offensive in Ukraine May Be a Turning Point in the War

Russia’s May 10 offensive in Ukraine may be a turning point in the dynamics of the war, and the specter of Ukraine’s defeat is exposing the cracks that divide the Western powers.

Claudia Cinatti

May 21, 2024
Signs and banners at the picket line in front of the UC Santa Cruz in May, 2024. UC student workers are beginning a historic strike for Palestine, against genocide.

University of California Student Workers Begin Historic Political Strike against Repression and Genocide

This week, student and postdoctoral workers at the University of California began a historic strike in response to the brutal, violent repression of students, faculty, and staff protesting for Palestine. The action marks an important escalation of the labor movement’s struggle in defense of Palestine and the right to protest.

Olivia Wood

May 21, 2024

Victory for the UAW at Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga Represents a Potential Turning Point for Labor

Following a year of strong union struggles, a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee has voted to unionize with the UAW. This victory, in the traditionally anti-union South, shows that the terrain of labor struggle in the U.S. is shifting.

Joey Eichler

May 17, 2024
A rally in Brooklyn, people hold up UAW signs

University of California Academic Workers Authorize Strike to Defend the Right to Protest

48,000 workers are one step closer to going on strike to demand that charges and academic sanctions be dropped for the students and faculty who protest the genocide in Palestine and UC’s financial and academic ties to Israel.

Madeleine Freeman

May 16, 2024