WASHINGTON- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released a discussion draft of legislation chartering an Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative, modeled on the European Deterrence Initiative. In releasing the legislation, Thornberry said:
“Senior officials from both parties, military commanders, and international security experts have told us for years that the Indo-Pacific must be this country’s priority theater. They are absolutely correct, and it is time to put our money where our mouth is. These are not all new programs, but by pulling them together under one policy we will be better able to judge our own commitment here at home, demonstrate our resolve to our allies and partners, and deter China. We may not be able to cover all of these programs this year, but it is important that we make a start, and then use this legislation to measure our progress going forward.”
The legislation calls for $6.09 billion in FY21 to be spent in the Indo-Pacific region on enhancing missile defense, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs, infrastructure, prepositioned equipment and munitions, logistics, training and exercises, and programs to strengthen the capacity of allied and partner countries. It builds on the President’s own budget request for the region, as well as additional requirements identified by combatant commanders, service secretaries, and Indo-Pacific Command’s investment plan, delivered to Congress last month.
A fact sheet summarizing the bill can be found here.
Legislative Text can be found here.
In a column for Breaking Defense, Thornberry said:
“When Congress is able to reconvene, it is poised to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for the 60th year in a row. No other piece of legislation has a similar bi-partisan track record. In the next 60 years, America’s fortunes will be greatly influenced by what happens in the Indo-Pacific region. It would be fitting if we mark this milestone by implementing a new strategic approach to this vital part of the world.”