Bombers big slice of $1.1tn US war budget
DONALD Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI. “My guilty plea and agreement to co-operate with the Special Counsel’s office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and our country,” Mr Flynn said. He was forced to resign after misleading the White House about meeting the Russian ambassador. WITH major projects including its first new heavy bomber in three decades and a new chopper for the President, the US military budget for the 2018 fiscal year is $A1.1 trillion – a massive expenditure for a huge war machine under constant renewal and growth.
Australia’s entire 2018 defence budget is $34.7 billion.
Many weapons acquired or upgraded are classified, but the US-based Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment’s annual “Weapons System Factbook” throws light on where the money is spent.
The 2018 US defence budget is the third-largest ever. Remarkably, its biggest spends were in 2010 and 2011 ($A1.12tn and $A1.12tn), during the drawdown from Iraq, suggesting it is costlier to exit war than enter.
US defence spending is estimated to be four-times greater than China’s.
America’s 20 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers ( now doing fly-bys near North Korea) are its premier deterrence, able to strike targets with conventional or nuclear weapons.
Structural modification and system overhauls for the first time since the aircraft’s production in the 1980s and 1990s will improve the aircraft’s ability to detect, identify and avoid adversary air-defence radars.
Each upgrade will cost $A68.6m. The B-21 Raider is a long-range stealth aircraft that is nuclear-capable and can operate with or without a crew. A SIREN blared across Hawaii yesterday, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, to prepare tourists and residents for a possible nuclear attack from North Korea.
The state is the first to bring back the Cold War-era warning system, Hawaii emergency management officials said.
The siren sounded for a minute after the usual testing of the alert for tsunamis and natural disasters Hawaii residents are used to hearing.
Emergency officials were gathering information about whether any sirens malfunctioned or were too soft, said Vern Miyagi, administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency.
There was little reaction from people on famous Waikiki Beach.
“I was out in the ocean playing around and I heard this siren,” said Canadian tourist Tom Passmore.
“I think it’s a good idea, but judging by everyone’s reaction around here nobody moved.”
Hawaii Governor David Ige said this week that the possibility of a strike remained remote but that it was important to be prepared, .