Last week China revealed that it planned to increase its 2007 military budget by 17.8 percent, which Rep. Ike Skelton (R-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called “the biggest increase in defense spending in five year.” In remarks at Wednesday’s budget hearing, Skelton went on to decry China’s recent anti-satellite test, the potential for “miscalculation” in the Taiwan strait, and China’s growing influence in Latin America and Africa. US Pacific Command chief, Adm. William Fallon told the panel that he is “concerned” about Beijing’s “continued double-digit” defense spending, however, he believe progress in military-to-military relations has been “positive.” He expects to see more “transparency and reciprocity.”
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.