Capitol Hill

NDAA-2022: How US Priorities Regarding Russia Have Shifted

November 05, 2021
Aleksandra Srdanovic

This is an evolving draft.

On Sept. 23, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which, if it becomes a law, would provide over $700 billion to further America’s defense policies and priorities.

Of course, NDAA-2022 is still just a bill. It would need to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president to become a law. The Senate’s own version of the bill was officially filed by the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sep. 22, 2021, but the bill and its growing list of amendments have yet to be put on the Senate floor for debate. Once the Senate passes its own version of NDAA-2022, the two chambers of Congress need to reconcile the differences between the two bills before a compromise bill can be voted on and sent for signing to U.S. President Joe Biden. As of now, there is no clear date for when the Senate’s version will go to the floor.

Compared to the 2021 NDAA, the House’s 2022 draft NDAA would increase funding for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, U.S. European Command and the NATO Security Investment Program, by 20%, 109% and 19% respectively. At the same time, it decreases funding for the European Deterrence Initiative, NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance and overall NATO-related research and development by 19%, 47% and 10% respectively. The 2022 NDAA also introduces a total of $175 million for the Baltic Security Initiative and $5 million for the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence. The Senate’s 2022 draft NDAA recommends identical funding levels for all of the aforementioned programs, except for the European Deterrence Initiative and the Baltic Security Initiative, which for now have no specific funding recommendations.

Compared to NDAA 2021, the House-passed NDAA-2022 features more provisions relating to NATO; the United States’ commitment to post-Soviet states such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; the Nagorno Karabakh conflict; and Russia’s human rights abuses. At the same time, compared to the enacted 2021 NDAA, it excludes mention of Russia’s support for extremist groups and networks, as well as Russian illicit finance, which refers to the illegal acquisition, movement and use of money both nationally and internationally. The current version of the Senate NDAA-2022, compared to the House-passed NDAA, is a more bare bones document, with no reference to Russia in the context of energy security, nuclear security and arms control, human rights and extremism and terrorism. Also, notably absent are mentions of any post-Soviet states except for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Below is a compilation and comparison of all provisions of the enacted 2021 and proposed 2022 NDAAs that affect Russia, former Soviet republics and Baltic countries, as well as funding levels for programs affecting U.S.-Russian strategic stability.

Highlighted Program Funding Levels, Enacted 2021 vs Proposed 2022 (in millions of dollars)


2021 Enacted Funding

2022 House Authorized Funding

2022 Senate Authorized Funding

Percent Change from 2021 Enacted Funding to 2022 Recommended Funding

European Deterrence Initiative1




19% decrease

Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative2




20% increase

Baltic Security Initiative3





U.S. European Command4




109% increase

NATO-related funding





NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance5




47% decrease

NATO Security Investment Program6




19% increase

NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence7





Total NATO-related research and development




10% decrease

Comparison of Selected Provisions from 2021 Enacted NDAA and the House and Senate Proposed 2022 NDAA


  1. European Deterrence Initiative: enables the United States to enhance the U.S. deterrence posture, increase the readiness and responsiveness of U.S. forces in Europe, support the collective defense and security of NATO allies and bolster the security and capacity of U.S. allies and partners.
  2. Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative: provides funding and resources for training, equipment and advisory efforts to help Ukraine’s forces preserve the country’s territorial integrity, secure its borders and improve interoperability with NATO. 
  3. Baltic Security Initiative: ensures the security of the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia; provides funds for assistance with respect to air defense; maritime situational awareness; ammunition; Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) (C4ISR); anti-tank capabilities; special forces; and other defense capabilities.
  4. U.S. European Command: one of 11 combatant commands that make up the United States military.
  5. NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (ASG): consists of air, ground and support segments, performing all-weather, persistent wide-area terrestrial and maritime surveillance in near real-time; provides in-theatre situational awareness to commanders of deployed forces.
  6. NATO Security Investment Program: responsible chiefly for funding military installations and construction projects.
  7. NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence: contributes to improved strategic communications capabilities within the Alliance and Allied nations.

Aleksandra Srdanovic

Aleksandra Srdanovic is a graduate student at Harvard University and a student associate with Russia Matters.

Photo shared under a Pixabay license. The opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.