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Experts warn new US military budget aims to draw Russia, China and Iran into arms race

Experts comment on the US military spending increase

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. The US military spending increase is intended to draw Russia, China and Iran into a new spiral of the arms race, experts polled by TASS said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump signed into law on Monday the $716 billion defense budget for the 2019 fiscal year (beginning on October 1) or $16 billion more compared to the previous year. Specifically, the US will spend $40 billion on the Air Force upgrade and allocate $65 million to develop new low-yield nuclear warheads for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The US Army’s personnel will be boosted by 16,000 service members.

According to Editor-in-Chief of Russia’s National Defense magazine Igor Korotchenko, "this is really the largest US military budget backing the claims by the United States for global leadership."

"But this is not simply a threat of the use of military force: Americans also need the military might to ascertain their economic claims. In particular, they need to impose a new spiral of the arms race on both Moscow and Beijing to drain their economic and financial systems," the expert said.

In general, the new US military budget "is aimed against China, Russia, Iran and North Korea," he pointed out.

Besides, with the approval of the new budget, Trump is fulfilling his promises to his electorate, the expert said.

"We should also view the budget through the prism of elections to the Congress and the presidential elections upcoming in several years. Trump was supported both by the Army and the military industrial complex, which are his electorate. With the new budget, Trump is fulfilling his obligations to this electorate," Korotchenko noted.

Expert of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Andrei Frolov agrees that a major task for Trump in drawing up the new budget is to support his electorate.

"Trump is consistently fulfilling all that he spoke about before the elections. In particular, the military industrial complex has always been the realm of the Republicans, i.e. the realm of his party. Using the new budget, Trump will allow the US military industrial complex to feel fairly well," Frolov said.

With regard to external challenges to the US, the expert noted that China, Russia and Iran were the basic rivals for the United States today.

"The Americans cannot ignore the annual growth of China’s military budget; we as a threat have already taken shape and Iran has posed itself as an independent player. That is, there has emerged an axis of the countries - military adversaries whose aggregate budgets equal more than $200 billion and Americans have to react to this as well. And the simplest thing is to increase their military spending and try to keep their technological and qualitative advance," the expert said.