Friday, 26 July 2019 19:04 WIB |
U.S. President Donald Trump may not be done building up the country's military.
Speaking at a welcoming ceremony at the Pentagon for newly sworn-in Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Thursday, Trump hinted he is planning to continue to increase the Defense Department budget.
"We had a budget approved when I first came in, billions and billions of dollars more than it was previously," Trump said. "Then I went to $716 billion."
"And I won't tell you what this one is. I can only tell you it is even more," he added.
A budget deal announced Tuesday by the White House and congressional leaders calls for $738 billion in defense spending in 2020 and another almost $741 billion in 2021.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives approved the deal late Thursday. The U.S. Senate, which must also approve the deal, is set to vote next week.
Before coming to the Pentagon Thursday, Trump expressed support for the agreement on Twitter, telling lawmakers they "should support the TWO YEAR BUDGET AGREEMENT which greatly helps our Military and our Vets."
But in his comments during Esper's welcoming ceremony, Trump said he wanted to give the military more, "ensuring American dominance across every war-fighting domain."
"We're building new tanks and ships and submarines and planes and missile systems to ensure that our warriors operate with unrivaled capability in conflict," he said. "We've upgraded our nuclear [capability] very, very powerfully. ¦ Pray to God we never have to use it."
"Any battlefield will be a battlefield on which we win," Trump added.
The 55-year-old Esper is a former soldier and a former secretary of the Army, and has also worked as a congressional aide and as a lobbyist for Raytheon, the nation's third-largest defense contractor.
Source : VOA