A B-52H Stratofortress taxis on the flight line at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 30, 2024.

A B-52H Stratofortress taxis on the flight line at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 30, 2024. U.S. Air Force / Airman 1st Class Alyssa Bankston

Pentagon eyes stockpile replenishment, funds to spur tech industry in 2025 budget

The request comes as the White House wrestles with government-wide and supplemental funding requests.

The Pentagon wants $500 million to replenish stockpiles tapped to aid Taiwan—a first for the department’s budget request. But the eventual goal is to pair that ask with supplemental funding stalled in Congress. 

The funding request immediately calls out China as the pacing challenge, highlighting a larger effort in the Indo-Pacific to bolster relationships and spending to support allied nations and partners. The Defense Department is also asking for about $10 billion for ballistic missile activities to support Guam, increased military exercises, training, and experimentation, cyber operations support, and fielding autonomous systems, according to budget documents

For Taiwan, Congress previously authorized a $1 billion-a-year replenishment of drawdown funding—a threshold the Pentagon wanted to meet but opted not to because of a $10 billion cut mandated by Congress as part of a 2023 debt-ceiling deal that caps defense spending at $895 billion. 

“The Senate supplemental that is pending with the House now has funded that…there's $1.9 billion, I believe, to cover across about two years,” a senior defense official told reporters. “So [$500 million] we thought was a good start. But it'll be even stronger if that Senate bill can get enacted.”

The budget request comes amid a multipronged money battle with Congress—which recently passed its fifth stopgap spending bill this fiscal year. The White House and Pentagon have also urged Congress to finalize a supplemental funding request. The Senate passed a $95 billion bill for foreign aid and U.S. military operating costs abroad, while the House proposed a much smaller $66 billion bill that omits humanitarian and economic support for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The supplemental also includes funds for new investments in the Indo-Pacific region and the submarine industrial base. 

Without it, DOD warns of “real problematic consequences” that go beyond money.  

“Obviously, for Ukrainians—primarily, first and foremost–-they're low on ammunition today, they're fighting and dying today. If we can't help them, there isn't another industrial base on the planet that can really take our place,” the official said. 

But it also would plug unexpected spending in fiscal year 2024 for increased operations in the Middle East, including military response to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. 

“So we would be looking at shortages across CENTCOM operating costs, European operating costs, helping the Ukrainians, Taiwan and other partners in the Pacific, submarine industrial base—a whole bunch of problems,” the official said.

DOD says it is about $10 billion in the hole so far from munitions support and supplies to Ukraine, on top of the Army and Navy “eating costs” daily for operations in Europe and CENTCOM, respectively. 

“We have not been able to with the funding we've had today…been able to replenish everything we've already given to Ukraine,” the official said. “So it would come back on our own readiness and our own stockpile to a certain extent if we can't get new funding.”

DOD didn’t ask for supplemental funding in its 2025 budget request. 

Planned spend on next-gen tech

Research and development would get about $142 billion, a slight increase over the $139 billion expected for 2024. The Pentagon also plans to spend about $17 billion on basic research and advanced technologies. 

About $3 billion will go to big tech efforts, including $1.8 billion for artificial intelligence and $1.4 billion for its unified communications effort called Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2. The latter includes Pentagon and military services’ larger efforts: the chief AI and data office’s global information dominance, or GIDE, experiments; the Army’s Project Convergence event; the Navy’s Project Overmatch; the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS; and some initiatives conducted by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, a senior military official told reporters.

There’s also about $2.5 billion for microelectronics supply chain initiatives plus CHIPS Act funding. 

The Pentagon has long said it wants to work with more innovative companies—think startups with cutting-edge technologies—so it’s putting $144 million in the Office of Strategic Capital, which will inject private investor funds to fuel development in key areas.

The Pentagon also wants almost $34 billion for space capabilities, including those for commercial operations and command and control. About $4.2 billion will go towards satellite communications and $4.7 billion for missile warning systems. 

Cyber activities get a $14.5 billion increase over 2024 with bumps to the cyber mission force training (which had been criticized), data protection, and zero trust—the latter of which will get about $1 billion, according to budget materials.