Trump’s Budget Is a Bonanza for Hawks

    Christopher A. Preble

    Security, North America

    Over the next five years, the Trump administration expects to spend $ 3.6 trillion on the nation’s military.

    The Trump administration released its budget for FY 2019 on Monday, and the reviews are in: military spending advocates are pleased and deficit hawks are dismayed. The top line steers $ 716 billion to various national security functions. The Pentagon will get $ 617 billion in its base budget, plus $ 69 billion to pay for the ongoing wars. Spending on nuclear weapons tucked away in the Department of Energy makes up most of the rest. Over the next five years, the Trump administration expects to spend $ 3.6 trillion on the nation’s military.

    The size of the active-duty force will rise by 25,900, and there is more money for operations and maintenance. Funds for the procurement of new equipment will grow by nearly $ 19 billion, a 14.9 percent increase over 2018. The details reveal a smorgasbord of spending going to the nation’s defense contractors:

    – $ 10.7 billion for seventy-seven F-35 Joint Strike Fighters

    – $ 2 billion for twenty-four F/A-18s

    – $ 7.4 billion for two new Virginia-class submarines

    – $ 6 billion for three Arleigh Burke–class destroyers

    – $ 2.3 billion for the B-21, the long-range strike bomber that will eventually replace B-1s and B-2s

    – $ 3 billion for fifteen K-46 refueling tankers; and

    – $ 900 million for six new presidential helicopters.

    Speaking of POTUS’s air travel, two new Air Force Ones “are still projected to cost $ 4 billion,” reports DefenseOne’s Marcus Weisgerber, “despite President Trump’s claims he negotiated with Boeing to take $ 1 billion off the price tag.”

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