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Proposed 2018 US military budget would put US troops permanently in eastern Europe

Via The War Files –  A new proposal for the 2018 military budget by the Senate committee would see US troops in Eastern Europe permanently, and supply lethal weapons to Ukraine. Adopted in the Senate Armed Services Committee (27-0), the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would see an additional $97 billion to the total military budget proposed by President Trump. 

Citing the need to “deter Russian aggression,” John McCain shifted the funding for US deployments in Eastern Europe to the base Pentagon budget, and renamed it the European Deterrence Initiative “In an unparalleled attack on our core interests and values, Russia engaged in an active, purposeful campaign to undermine the integrity of American democracy and affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election,” the summary version of the bill read. “The committee believes America must do more to deter Russian aggression, whether across its borders or in cyberspace.” 

The 2018 NDAA also extends the prohibition of any and all military cooperation with Russia. The prohibition was imposed in 2014, and prevents the US-led coalition from coordinating their operations against the Islamic State with Russia. 

The NDAA also codifies a policy that the US Navy should have “at least” 355 ships of “the optimal mix” and would see 13 new ships constructed in 2018; 5 more than the White House requested. It also funds 94 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. 60 would be supplied for the USAF, 24 for the USMC and 10 for the US Navy. 

That’s 24 more F-35’s than Trump’s budget requested. The Senate proposal calls for an additional 15,000 soldiers and 1,000 Marines over Trump’s budget request and authorizes a 2.1% across-the-board pay raise for members of the US military. By far the biggest increase in funding relates to cooperative missile defense programs between the US and Israel, which would see $558.5 million more than Trump requested; for a total of $705 million.    

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