So when you hear the US states that the PRC is militarizing the South China Sea, it's not a complaint. It's an expression of satisfaction and optimism that the PRC is entering our wheelhouse and offering to compete in the area of America's greatest advantage.
I think "This Time It's Not Different" and economics will out. But for the milsec quadrant, the reality of an avalanche of US defense spending over the next few years outweighs any anxieties that, in a couple decades, the idea that the US could have and should have kept the rest of the world under its military heel is revealed as a pleasing fantasy.
Then the think tanks can crank out stemwinders along the lines of "Gosh, It Really Wasn't Different After All. My Bad." CH--4/17/16
That includes F-22 and F-35 stealth fighter jets, P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft, continuous deployments of B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers, and also our newest surface warfare ships like the amphibious assault ship USS America and all three of our newest class of stealth destroyers, the DDG-1000, which will be all home-ported with the Pacific Fleet. And all the while we’re bringing America’s regional force posture into the 21st century by rotating American personnel into new and more places like northern Australia and new sites in the Philippines and modernizing our existing footprint in Japan and the Republic of Korea.
And in our 2017 defense budget, which I’ve presented to Congress over the past few weeks, we’re making investments critical to the rebalance. One is our surface fleet, which under our budget grows both the number of ships and, importantly, above all, their capabilities to deter and, if deterrence fails, defeat even the most advanced potential naval adversaries and protect the maritime security we all depend on.
Just one new example of how we’re making our ships’ capabilities increasingly lethal is by maximizing production of the SM-6 missile, one of our most modern and capable munitions, which now has a brand new anti-ship capability. And I could go on. We’re also investing to ensure our continued air superiority and global reach, including with over $12 billion for the new B-21 long-range strike bomber.
Another investment is in undersea capabilities, where we continue to dominate and where we’re investing over $8 billion just next year to ensure ours is the most lethal and most advanced undersea and anti-submarine force in the world. That includes new undersea drones in multiple sizes and diverse payloads that can importantly operate in shallow waters, where manned submarines can’t.
We’re also making large new investments in cyber, in electronic warfare, space capabilities, a total of $34 billion just next year. Among other things, this will help us build our cyber-mission force, develop next-generation electronic jammers, and prepare for the possibility of a conflict that extends into space.
And more is coming, including some surprises. (Scattered laughter.)