Washington: The US President Donald Trump will announce the defence expenditure budget of USD 716 billion, an increase of 7% over the previous year. President Trump is likely to suggest this increase in the defence expenditure by underlining the increasing threat from Russia and China, claimed two senior US officials. The Trump administration has not given any reaction to this.
The US defence expenditure is to be announced in the next month. This will be the second ‘Defence Budget’ by President Trump. After the Obama administration had cut down the defence expenditure substantially, President Trump increased the defence expenditure in the last year for the first time in eight years after he took to office. It is claimed that President Trump will suggest a big increase in the defence expenditure in this year as well.
According to the information given by the two officials connected with the matter to international news agencies, President Trump is likely to suggest a big increase in the defence expenditure for the year 2019. The officials said that there will be demand for a provision of USD 716 billion for the defence headquarters and the allied agencies. The burden of the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen as also the expenditure for maintenance of the nuclear arsenal constitute a part of this provision.
The officials have claimed that the US Defence Secretary, James Mattis has prepared the ‘National Defence Strategy’ report on Friday. In this report, Mattis has expressed concern ‘The US war preparedness has declined in the last few years’. The defence headquarters ‘Pentagon’ has not commented on this Mattis’ report. But, the rising threat from Russia and China are given highest priority in this report, said the officials.
Mattis has suggested policy changes for the US security from the threat of Russia and China and asked for higher provisions, in view of this. The officials have also claimed that President Trump will soon be presenting this demand by the US defence minister to the US Congress.
Mark Cancians, an analyst at the ‘Center For Strategic and International Studies’, the leading military think tank has said that the expenditure suggested by Trump is too high. ‘This increase suggests that the Trump administration is going to implement an aggressive defence policy’, said Cancian.
Meanwhile, the proposal presented by President Trump in 2018, for additional provisions has been stalled by the US Congress. The US had to face the ‘Shutdown’ in the last week because of that. The US internal security personnels had to proceed on an unpaid leave due to that. The US Congress withdrew the shutdown after three days when a compromise was reached between the Republican party and Trump. But the proposal for additional provisions has still not been cleared by the Congress. So now the world’s focus is on what stand the US Congress takes on the new annual defence expenditure proposed by Trump.
Trump, while taking the US office, had committed to put maximum stress on increasing the military might of the US. Trump had said that this was very important for the powerful US.