Lloyd Austin, secretary of the Department of Defense and a two-time Wash100 awardee, has called on Congress to approve a federal budget to further strengthen U.S. deterrence and “compete in this decisive decade.”
He said deterrence calls for the development of cutting-edge technological capabilities in space, cyberspace and other domains where conflicts of the 21st century could emerge.
He noted that DOD’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 includes $34 billion in funds to support the continued modernization of the country’s nuclear triad and improve its nuclear command, control and communications capabilities.
“So let me urge Congress to pass an on-time appropriation so that we can get the capabilities to further strengthen our deterrence,” Austin said during his remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum held Saturday in Simi Valley, California.
He said DOD has increased its focus on the Indo-Pacific region through investments in logistics, military construction and infrastructure and mobilization of U.S. troops.
Austin provided updates on the AUKUS partnership, which seeks to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence, hypersonics and other tech capabilities with the U.K. and Australia, and cited the establishment of the office of strategic capital at DOD.
“This important office will work to secure U.S. private-sector investment in critical defense-technology areas, ensuring that technology developed in America benefits America. And it’s an example of how we’re creating the conditions for innovators to succeed,” he added.