As a “smart investment” in America’s long-term security interests, Vice President Joe Biden urged Congress Wednesday night to approve $100 billion in military assistance for Israel and Ukraine.
Biden said the globe is at a “inflection point in history” that calls for robust U.S. leadership in a primetime address from the Oval Office. He maintained that defending American and regional security required assuring the military success of Israel and Ukraine against terrorists and Russian aggression.
“When terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction,” warned Biden. “They keep going and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising.”
As tensions between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza rise, the president has spoken out. Over the past week, both sides have been exchanging rocket fire, killing over a hundred Palestinians and seven Israelis.
Biden assured Israel of unwavering American support for its right to self-defense, and he explained that the $50 billion in military funding he is proposing from Congress will be used to fund offensive capabilities and replenish Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
The remaining $50 billion would be used to provide Ukraine with more armaments, economic help, and humanitarian aid while it fights off the Russian invasion. Biden has stated that it is crucial for European security and democracy to make sure a democratic Ukraine can survive assault from Russia.
Major defense contractor stocks jumped throughout the world after Biden’s speech was released on Friday. Both the British company BAE Systems and the German company Rheinmetall saw increases of 7%. General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin both started off with some early success in the United States.
Experts believe that Biden’s call for increased military expenditure will give a lift to defense equities, which have been rising this year on the back of rising global tensions.
According to Capital Group equity analyst Mark Wilson, “the president’s request signals what could be the start of a new defense upcycle.” “With rising global threats, we expect defense spending to ramp up not just in the U.S. but among NATO allies as well.”
In light of the situation in Ukraine, numerous European nations, including Germany in particular, have promised to significantly expand their military budgets. However, several specialists warn that moving forward is still difficult.
Analyst at Morgan Stanley Robert Shepherd said, “There may be growing political will for defense spending, but executing on these plans will take time.” “Companies specializing in cybersecurity, intelligence, and missile defense systems stand to benefit the most from near-term priorities.”
Biden has stated that the formal budget proposal to Congress in the amount of $100 billion will be sent on Friday. The bill, which he called a “vital signal of America’s leadership,” was a priority for him and he urged party leaders to act promptly on it.
The spending proposal for the military is sure to be contentious, especially because control of Congress is up for grabs in the next midterm elections. The White House, however, is wagering that a focus on national security will win over skeptics on both sides of the aisle.