Trump pushes U.S. defense buildup

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a speech aboard an under-construction aircraft carrier
President Donald Trump gives a speech aboard the pre-commissioned aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford – some estimates say the U.S. Navy needs 81 more ships (source: dpa)
  • President Trump’s proposal to increase defense spending is highly controversial
  • Consensus in Congress is building that the military is under great stress
  • There are several political hurdles for the budget proposal to be approved
  • Defense spending is likely to increase, but by how much is unclear

Recently the Trump administration unveiled its budget proposal for fiscal year 2018. It calls for the United States to increase defense spending to about $603 billion, $54 billion above the cap set by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011. The budget, President Donald Trump and other senior government officials argue, sets a new direction for defense policy, including a significant buildup in the size and capability of conventional and nuclear forces. What the budget represents and whether it will survive Congressional scrutiny are controversial issues. While U.S. defense spending is likely to increase, how, by how much and what priorities will receive additional funds may not be clear for months.

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