Trump signs US defense budget: what $716B buys in military might

World Today

With the stroke of a pen, U.S. President Donald Trump backed up the country’s military might with more money.

The U.S. defense budget for 2019 tops $716 billion. It’s the largest spending plan the Pentagon has ever received and underscores President Trump’s desire to strengthen the U.S. military ‘like never before.’

CGTN’s Sean Callebs explains where the money is going – and where it isn’t.

Congress gave U.S. President Donald Trump the massive military budget he wanted.

After spending trillions – and more than a decade-and-a-half fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan in the “War against Terror” – Trump’s administration is shifting funds from fighting terrorist groups to threats posed by superpowers. The President believes Russia and China are the new rising threat.

The $716 billion defense budget is the largest ever for the Pentagon and is more than the defense spending of the next seven nations combined—including Russia and China. The spending plan includes a 2.6-percent military pay raise. It may not sound like a lot, but it is the largest military pay hike in nine years.

The U.S. President not only wants to ‘Make America Great Again’ on earth — he wants to do that in space too. But the $716 billion price tag doesn’t include money for the creation of the sixth branch of the U.S. military President Trump has been pushing. No money is included in the Pentagon budget to develop and build the U.S. Space Force.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea likes to show off its military might with a huge parade – so does Russia. Trump has pushed for one since his inauguration: a U.S. military parade. The Department of Defense estimates the parade, slated for November right now —will cost about $12 million. Critics of the president, who didn’t serve in Vietnam because of bone spur medical deferments, are livid about the planned grand parade.

Trump may have pushed for the massive military spending measure, but it received bipartisan support from Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress – approving the spending measure by overwhelming majorities.

National Defense Authorization Act FY2019