President Donald Trump said his administration is going to build a nuclear arsenal "like you've never seen before", as part of a military buildup provided for under the newly released fiscal year 2019 budget proposal.
Of the $89 billion war-funding budget, $17.4 billion of it would go towards the Pentagon's base budget; $48.9 billion would go towards the USA war against terrorists in Afghanistan; and $15.2 billion would go towards the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The OCO request also calls for $6.5 billion for the European Defense Initiative, which includes $200 million for Ukraine to "build capacity to conduct internal defense operations to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity", a clear signal to Moscow that the US stands with Kiev in its fight against separatists backed by Russian Federation in eastern Ukraine.
The budget calls for an increase in troop strength of 25,900.
Defense Secretary James Mattis lauded the proposed budget saying it is needed to reshape and improve the military's lackluster combat readiness while shifting its focus away from terrorism.
US Defense Secretary acknowledges the spending jump is the largest increase since the 2002 initiation of the War on Terror by US President George W. Bush - from $345 billion that year to $437 billion the next.
Congress recently gave the military a $165 billion gift by rolling back restrictive caps on defense spending levels.
"In the budget, we took care of the military like it's never been taken care of", he said during a meeting at the White House.
The Trump administration is requesting $24 billion for nuclear deterrence and $12.9 billion for missile defense in fiscal 2019.
The budget furthers the U.S. goal of a stable and secure South Asia by supporting the Afghan government and security forces in their fight against the Taliban insurgents and militant organisations such as al Qaeda and Islamic State. By 2023, the Navy would increase by 16,900, the Marine Corps by 1,400, and the Air Force by 13,700, increasing the active-duty military to 1,365,500. "It's a strategy issue", Harrison said.
Missile-defense batteries at Fort Greely, Alaska, and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California would gain up to 44 more interceptor missiles, a move that comes in response to North Korea's development of ballistic missiles with the range to strike the continental United States. "That's something the (Defense) department hasn't really grappled with".
Trump had requested a 2018 military budget of $603 billion for basic functions and $65 billion for war missions.
The uncapped war account has always been used to fund routine programs that have not made the cut for the base budget.
The military will be one step closer to following through on its 2018 spending plans if it gets an appropriation plan approved in the coming weeks.
The Pentagon would spend $48.9 billion in Afghanistan, almost $2 billion more than last year, while the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would receive $15.3 billion, an increase of $2.3 billion over last year. The 2019 plan lifts a $562 billion budget cap to $647 billion and puts $69 billion in the war fund for a total of $716 billion.