Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, plans to propose the creation of a new fund to fight Chinese activities in the Indio-Pacific region, Defense News reported Thursday. Thornberry intends to request $6.09 billion in fiscal 2021 funds to establish an Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
“The Indo-Pacific has been called our highest priority theater and I believe that is true. It is time to put our money where our mouth is,” Thornberry told the publication.
“This effort consolidates and funds the policies, infrastructure, and platforms needed to reassure our allies and partners while we deter China. It also serves as a benchmark against which we can judge our efforts in the region. We may not be able to get this all done this year, but it is vital that we make a start.”
The lawmaker’s proposal includes $1 billion for increased presence and joint force lethality; $1.5 billion for prepositioning and logistics; $2.1 billion for improved infrastructure; $1 billion training and exercises; and $350 million in funds to strengthen allies and partners.