“Russia and China are outpacing the United States in the development of super-fast missile technology, Pentagon officials and key lawmakers are warning,” according to a report Tuesday morning in The Hill.
“Russia says it successfully tested a so-called hypersonic missile this month, while China tested a similar system last year expected to enter service soon.”
“Right now, we’re helpless,” Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told the paper.
At this time, the U.S. does not “have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” according to Gen. John Hyten, Commander of United States Strategic Command. Hyten is among those calling for the development of space-based sensors and developing hypersonic missiles of our own.
This report comes shortly after President Trump signed a massive spending bill, which many have criticized as excessive and fiscally irresponsible, but which does also contain a serious defense spending hike—to the tune of $61 billion extra:
“For some perspective, that $61 billion increase matches or even surpasses Russia’s entire military budget each year. It’s more than the Trump administration originally requested. It rivals two big spending surges during President George W. Bush’s administration, in 2003 and 2008, which went to fund the Iraq War,” per NPR on Monday.
Some Democrats, however, oppose the administration’s and the Pentagon’s plans to increase defense spending and further weapons development:
“Calling for the addition of new weapons and weapons capabilities to our arsenal and expanding the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. national security strategy imposes significant economic burdens and undermines decades of United States leadership to prevent the use and spread of nuclear weapons,” 43 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Trump on Monday.
According to these lawmakers, “this pursuit of additional weapons that have already been deemed unnecessary for deterrence is unjustified.”