US President Donald Trump is proposing a massive 10% hike in the country’s defence budget in line with his campaign promise of a stronger military.
There are indications that the spending on the environment regulatory body and foreign aid disbursed by the state department will see a cut.
“This budget will be a public-safety and national-security budget,” Trump said in remarks from the White House on Monday, the day before he addresses a joint session of congress. “It will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it.”
“This is a landmark event, a message to the world in these dangerous times, of American strength, security and resolve,” he added.
Budget allocations for respective federal departments will be sent later on Monday, and the proposal will be released in March.
The defence hike will be by $54 billion in real terms.
The administration did not give out details of how it plans to fund this hike, as the cuts in the budgets for the Environment Protection Agency and the state department don’t add up, according to multiple budget experts.
These proposals are in a way the President’s wishlist that US congress, which controls the country’s purse strings, can incorporate in its expenditure legislation totally or in parts or reject them altogether.
Trump has made increased military spending one of the cornerstones of his campaign promise of making the country stronger — arguing the United States doesn’t win any wars anymore — with the overall philosophy of pursuing peace from a position of strength.
He plans to hike the number of active troops to 540,000 from 490,000 and boost the number of Marine Corps battalions to 36 from 23, or an extra 12,480 troops.
He has also promised to build a Navy of 350 surface ships and submarines, up from 275 ships now, and to add about 100 fighter craft to the Air Force, bringing the total to 1,200