Masters of War: Senate Defense Budget Set to Exceed One Third of Global Military Spending

Photo by The U.S. Army | CC BY 2.0

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks

– Bob Dylan, Masters of War, 1963

The US Senate passed a $700 billion defense policy bill on Monday that puts the US on track to have the largest military budget since the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), had enormous bipartisan support in a vote of 89-9.

It includes $640 billion for the Pentagon – $37 billion more than Trump requested – and $60 billion for US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and beyond.

The NDAA approves an $80 billion annual increase for military spending, and authorized the production ninety-four F-35 jets, twenty-four more than the Pentagon requested.

The new bill allots millions to boost the militaries of other countries, including $705 million to Israel and $500 million to Ukraine.

The NDAA still has to be adjusted to align with the version of the bill passed by the House in June before Trump can sign into law, which is expected to happen later this year.

The Senate backing of the bill is part of a long tradition in US politics of bipartisan support for staggering military budgets.

In 2016, the US military budget made up one third of all global military expenditures.

The US already has a military budget that is larger than that of the next seven countries combined,…

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