Pentagon Proposes Billion$ For Missile Defense

Pentagon Proposes Billion$ For Missile Defense

The budget proposal is significantly larger than the Pentagon's 2018 request for $617 billion.

The Trump administration is requesting $24 billion for nuclear deterrence and $12.9 billion for missile defense in fiscal 2019.

The proposal, part of Trump's budget request for the US government, would provide the Pentagon $US617 billion ($787 billion) and an additional $US69 billion to fund ongoing wars in fiscal year 2019.

But, defense analysts say, the $716 billion spending plan risks flooding too much money into a Defense Department that may not spend it wisely.

The proposal of aid to Pakistan comes weeks after Trump administration suspended almost $2 billion in security assistance to Islamabad.

"It is increasingly apparent that China and Russian Federation want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian values and, in the process, replace the free and open order that has enabled global security and prosperity since World War Two", Pentagon comptroller David Norquist told reporters.

"In addition, the budget requests $80 million in Foreign Military Financing assistance to enhance Pakistan's counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency capabilities, contingent on Pakistan taking appropriate action to expand cooperation in areas where US-Pakistan interests converge and to address areas of divergence, in line with the administration's South Asia strategy", the White House said.

The $686 billion (Dh2.5 trillion) spending plan - up from $612bn in 2018 - is framed in the context of the Pentagon's latest national defence strategy, and contrasts with the State Department's budget, which calls for steep cuts in spending on aid and diplomacy.

The request does not include national defense money for the Department of Energy and other agencies that contribute to the Trump administration's overall national defense request of $716 billion.

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The Pentagon is seeking a 10 percent hike in funding, asking Congress for $686.1 billion next year to grow the size and might of the USA military while investing in modern hardware, primarily in response to China and Russia's growing capabilities. Norquist said Monday the proposed budget takes the initial steps to "restore and rebuild" the USA military, as President Donald Trump has pledged.

Congress recently gave the military a $165 billion gift by rolling back restrictive caps on defense spending levels.

The budget bill was signed on Friday 9 February.

"While this is not a record increase, it comes on top of a budget that was already higher than the peak of the Reagan buildup when adjusted for inflation", Harrison said. The real beneficiaries in the military spending spree are the big weapons corporations, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics.

Laura Grego, a UCS representative, noted buzz in defense circles that up to 100 GMD interceptors could eventually be based in Alaska alone.

"Modernizing the nation's nuclear delivery systems is the department's number one priority, and these programs are fully funded in the [fiscal] 2019 budget", the Pentagon's budget proposal reads.

The Pentagon also would invest more heavily in the ship-based Aegis system and the Army's Patriot air and missile defense system.

The Pentagon also plans to spend $13.7 billion on high-tech capabilities, though the request doesn't lay out in detail how the Pentagon plans to allocate such funds. It will benefit to all the components of the armed forces, addressing namely a need for more hi-tech missile defense and the start of a complete recapitalization of the nuclear weapons arsenal, but also new aircraft, combined ships, logistics, etc.

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