President Trump’s proposed budget would boost spending on the military and veterans services in 2018, while cutting back on non-defense spending.
It would boost defense spending by 10 percent over the current 2017 enacted level, and veterans affairs spending by 5.9 percent, according to a White House blueprint released Thursday.
“The budget for [the Department of Defense] ends the depletion of our military and pursues peace through strength, honoring the Federal Government’s first responsibility: to protect the Nation,” it said.
Specifically, the president has proposed $603 billion in total defense spending, which includes funding for the Pentagon and defense funding in other agencies, such as the Department of Energy.
It proposes $574 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget — $19 billion more than what President Obama projected for 2018.
In addition to the $603 billion, the administration has proposed $65 billion in war costs — the same as the current 2017 amount.
The blueprint notes that instead of spending more on war — which it says consumes resources — the administration will “invest in a stronger military.”
The budget emphasizes rebuilding warfighting readiness, after 15 years of war.
Specifically it mentions rebuilding stocks of critical munitions, and dealing with personnel gaps, deferred maintenance and modernization, cyber vulnerabilities, and degraded facilities.
It also mentions spending more on training, equipment and infrastructure.
Those things highlight the budget’s emphasis on rebuilding the military versus just expanding it.
Indeed, the blueprint states: “The military must reset war losses, address recapitalization and maintenance requirements, and recover from years of deferred investment forced by budget cuts.”