Posts Tagged ‘National Defense Authorization Act’

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT: PROS & CONS

Each year, the National Defense Authorization Act is controversial.  In 2012, for example, it basically funded our military for the year but also was the first time it contained provisions for apprehending and detaining indefinitely any U.S. citizen suspected of terrorism without charging him/her with any crime.  President Obama wanted such power although this was not in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and could have been a slippery slope, where a well-meaning law, eventually morphs into something sinister.  President Obama added a “Signing Statement” specifying when he might use the authority, but even if you take him at his word, opponents ask “how about future presidents?”  Might they use it?  How about President Trump?  The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act was for only one year, so didn’t the provision expire at the end of that year?

Strengthening the military was one of the tenets that President Trump ran for President on.  However, building up the military  does not require doing anything unconstitutional.  In fact. the Department of Defense Appropriations, 2018, was for $700 billion and significantly strengthened the military, after eight years of it being starved of the financial resources needed to keep it combat-ready.  In addition, under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Department of Defense will receive $716 billion in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019.  The FY 2018 appropriations includes $589.5 billion in base Department of Defense funding and $65.2 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

A significant plus for the military, aside from all of the new equipment to be purchased, is the 2.4 % pay raise for military personnel.  Also included in Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations is the following:

o MISSILE DEFENSE: $9.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency (in addition to the $2 billion given to the MDA in December 2017)

o SHIPBUILDING: $23.8 billion for many new ships including one aircraft carrier

o AIRCRAFT PROCUREMENT: $44.0 billion for many new aircraft

o MUNITIONS: $16.2 billion for ammunition and missiles

o NATIONAL GUARD AND RESERVE EQUIPMENT: $1.3 billion for equipment to modernize reserve forces

o SPACE: $800 million for Air Force space programs

o BASIC RESEARCH INVESTMENTS: $2.3 billion for basic research for the military

o DEFENSE HEALTH: $34.8 billion for the Defense Health program

With the increased appropriations for both FY 2018 and FY 2019 the military will be much stronger than it is today.  Over Obama’s eight years, military strength significantly decreased.  A weakened U.S. military invites challenges.  National defense is the number one responsibility of the Federal government.  All other activities and programs are possible only because the nation is secure.  The easiest way to avoid war is to have our military so strong that no one would dare challenge it.  A Chinese general, Sun Tzu, wrote about this strategy 2,500 years ago in his book, The Art of War.

 

 

 

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