On 28 May 2021, the Biden administration submitted a much-delayed Defense Budget to Congress, asking for $715 billion for 2022, a 1.6% increase over the previous year’s $703.7 billion. This marginal increase highlights the U.S.’s shrinking capacities compared with China, which spends less than a third of the U.S. on defence. This Budget is focussed on challenges in the U.S.’s geographic vicinity, not the administration’s resolve to counter the threat of China from a position of strength.
A strategic coming together of the U.S., Japan, Australia, and India was close to fruition some years ago, impelled initially by the tsunami of 2004. The spirit of the enterprise remains alive even now, and there are many merits in India joining the quad, but such an arrangement can skew existing Asian equations, jeopardising the Act East policy