WASHINGTON D.C.– On Dec. 12 President Donald Trump signed a mammoth military spending bill. Titled the National Defense Authorization Act, it allocates nearly $700 billion.
The new allocation is for Federal Fiscal Year 2018, a twelve-month period we are already in, and which ends September 30, 2018.
The increase ignoredspending caps Congress set for itself in 2011 caps aimed at keeping the federal deficit under control.
The cap for Fiscal 2018 is $590 billion. If the caps are exceeded, across-the-board reductions in the military budget automatically kick in.
The National Defense Authorization Act includes new billions for helicopters, jet fighters, ships and personnel beyond what the Pentagon sought.
The Navy asked for eight new ships, but it is getting 13, whether it has any use for them or not.
That includes one extra “littoral combat ship,” which means a ship operating close to shore, one extra destroyer, and one extra amphibious ship.
Our military will be getting more high-tech, and the act will included the increase of militarypersonal size.
The allocation in the Act includes continued work on two more supercarriers like the USS Gerald R. Ford, which is just now coming online.
With a revolutionary new system for launching jet fighters from its flight deck.
What is sure is that each additional supercarrier will cost upwards of $13 billion.
The act moves $5 billion from a budget category called “European Defense Initiative” to “base budget.”
The reason for the shift, the Senate explained, is that deterring “Russian aggression in Europe” is more than a temporary need.
Russia’s military spending is only about 10 percent of ours, at around $70 billion a year, and Russia plans to reduce that by 8 percent in 2018.
Even China, which is the next biggest military spender after the United States, allocates only about $220 billion.
Our excess is apparent from comparing with other countries. We now spend more on the military than is spent by the next highest eleven countries of the world.
We account for nearly 40 percent of total world military expenditures.
The $700 Billion National Defense Authorization Act is viewed as something needed to strengthening our military now that our adversaries military technologies are advancing rapidly.
We must also accountthe uncertainties of North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China.