U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), who sits on the the Armed Services Committee, said the new military funding will go a long way in helping the country’s national security against a growing threat from China.
President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last month, which totaled $858 billion in defense funding for fiscal year 2023.
During a recent conversation on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program,” Tuberville discussed the new national defense priorities included in the NDAA.
“We changed from a 20-year war on land to defending the Indo-Pacific and Asia area where Taiwan looks like they could possibly have a confrontation with China,” Tuberville said. “Which is a totally different kind of war. It’s an air war, it’s going to be a water war, if it does happen, so we got to prepare for that.”
The senator said he was glad the bill finally was passed, despite some obstruction from the Democrats.
“For some reason, Chuck Schumer and the Democrats held hostage the budget for the NDAA, it should have been passed three months ago,” he said. “We had it finished in June, but they always used an opportunity to take advantage of something to hold our military hostage because they know that’s one thing Republicans really stand behind of funding.”
Tuberville noted some of the specifics on how the new funding could help defend America’s interests in the region if necessary.
“We did up the budget $45 billion over what President Biden wanted,” he said. “There’s a lot of things in there, but most of it is concentrating more on ships, airplanes, vertical lift, which is helicopters, things that we’ll need to possibly defend the Indo-Pacific, and this will allow now the military to set those sights for the future and making sure they have the funds to go direction.”
He also reiterated the threat from China, which he believes will, in all likelihood, try to invade Taiwan in the near future.
“We’ve been told by the last two Indo-Pacific commanders that they’re coming, and probably coming within the next 8 to 10 years, possibly as early as five years, maybe a lot sooner than that,” he said. “China, Xi Jinping has said to his people in speeches that they will take Taiwan back as part of the old China, so they make no bones about it. So we have got to protect and be prepared for it. Right now we’re not prepared for it because we’ve been over in the Middle East.
“It something we’re keeping an eye on. Again, we don’t know whether it’s going to happen or not, but all indications are in the near future that they’re going to make some kind of aggressive force toward Taiwan, we’ll see what happens.”