USA | $886 billion defence budget approved
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/12/2023 at 10:53

The US Congress yesterday approved the defence budget (NDAA), which provides for annual expenditures of a record amount of 886 billion dollars.

At the same time, it approves the continuation of policies such as providing military aid to Ukraine and extending a controversial digital surveillance program widely used by intelligence agencies.

The bill, which provides for a 3% increase in defence spending, was approved Wednesday by the Senate and yesterday by the House of Representatives by a vote of 310 to 118.

Among other things, the NDAA provides for the investment of several billion dollars to “strengthen the position” of the US in the Asia-Pacific region to counter China’s influence.

The military aid program to Ukraine is also being extended, with the gradual release of $300 million to Kiyv. This amount, however, is far less than the $61 billion that the Presidents of the US and Ukraine requested from Congress.

The NDAA extends for four months the FISA electronic surveillance program, which was going to expire soon to give lawmakers time to either reform or keep it. 

The program, which has been criticized by privacy and liberties groups, allows US security agencies to monitor non-US citizens abroad – even their emails – without seeking a warrant.

A high-ranking official of the White House had requested its extension on Sunday, considering that because of everything happening in Israel and Ukraine, the threat of China, the developments in their strategically important infrastructures, and the cyber attacks, unilateral disarmament would be wrong.

The budget also increases the salaries of military personnel by 5.2%.

Measures proposed by the Republicans, which called for restricting military access to abortion services and not flying the LGBTQ flag on US bases, were not approved.

The 3,100-page bill will now be sent to the White House to be signed by President Joe Biden.

Source: CNN Greece

Also read: USA | Henry Kissinger has passed away




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