Largest one-year Defense budget in history!

15 February, 2018, 08:29 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Military hawks win big in budget deal — for now

Included in that $716 billion request is $597 billion for day-to-day military operations and weapons buying, $89 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State and another $30 billion more to be spent by other government departments, such as the Energy Department, for the nuclear arsenal.

The Pentagon budget request for 2019 puts the military on a course of spending unmatched since the Reagan-era buildup, boosting the number of troops, warplanes and bombs, according to documents and analysts.

The budget plan puts an emphasis on missile defense, with additions to systems that have been identified as key to countering the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear missile program.

Even after lawmakers reached a deal to lift mandatory defense spending caps to clear the way for a $1.4 trillion, two-year military funding plan for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, they have yet to pass a full Pentagon budget.

The Department of Energy said the money was needed to modernize and restore the country's nuclear weapons complex. That's an increase of $1.69 billion for weapons activities, including upgrading and building new nuclear warheads.

Critics, however, say that the proposed spending increase falls short of what Trump had promised during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he frequently depicted the United States military as underfunded.

"Great power competition, not terrorism, has emerged as the central challenge to U.S. security and prosperity", Under Secretary Of Defense David L. Norquist told reporters Monday following the unveiling of the budget proposal.

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The 2019 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous wing of the Department of Energy, was $15.09 billion, an increase of almost $1.2 billion from last year's budget proposal.

The fiscal year 2019 budget seeks to procure 10 new naval warships, along with growing the Air Force from 55 combat squadrons to 58 by fiscal year 2024.

The $686 billion Defense Department topline represents an $80 billion, or 13 percent, increase from the 2017 enacted defense spending level.

The budget would also jump-start the Pentagon's rebuild of its nuclear infrastructure, which it committed to do in the Nuclear Posture Review released this month. Norquist said Monday the proposed budget takes the initial steps to "restore and rebuild" the USA military, as President Donald Trump has pledged.

Within the war-funding budget, $6.5 billion would go towards the European Deterrence Initiative - bolstering European allies against Russian aggression; and $0.9 billion would go towards security cooperation, or training partner nations.

"We are stretched too thin", Harrison said Friday. The budget request asks for 43,594 Joint Direct Attack Munitions at a cost of $1.2 billion and another $1.2 billion for 9,733 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems used by the Army and Marine Corps. The 2018 budget requested the modernisation of 56 of the General Dynamics-made vehicles. But upon raising spending caps to the Pentagon's desired levels, the White House shifted $20 billion from the OCO request to the base request. The Pentagon also plans to spend $2 billion for 24 F-18 Super Hornet jets, up from 14 in 2018.

The State Department, meanwhile, published its budget proposal for 2019 calling for deep cuts, although Congress has dismissed the idea. The bill also grants US troops a 2.4 percent pay raise, slightly higher than the Pentagon had proposed.

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