Policy analyst says massive defense bill puts US in ‘arms race’ with China

Policy analyst Stephen Semler on Thursday argued that the current version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) marks a significant increase in spending from last year and puts the U.S. “back to starting an arms race with another major power.” 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, pointed out that that NDAA would allocate roughly $778 billion to the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2022, a nearly $40 billion increase from 2021 and the largest called for in the bill in eight years. 

“The plan from the Biden administration was to set the tone early and say, ‘We’re not going to get a peace dividend out of this, we are going to reinvest this in, not necessarily endless wars per se, but a sprawling collection of 800 military bases, spending that exceeds the next 10 countries combined,” he explained. 

Semler noted that the spending in the NDAA being considered by the House this week would far surpass China’s funding for its own military. 

“By increasing the military budget close to $40 billion, America is back, but in the sense that we’re back to starting an arms race with another major power,” the analyst argued. 

Watch part of Semler’s interview above.