Pentagon Requests $686B for 2019, Calls for Largest Military Pay Raise in Nine Years

The Pentagon is requesting $686.1 billion for fiscal year 2019 — $597.1 billion for its base budget, and $89 billion for its war-funding budget some of which will pay for base budget requirements.

The budget request is based on the National Defense Strategy released by the Pentagon earlier this year, that focuses on China and Russia as strategic competitors.

“Today the United States is emerging from a period of strategic atrophy in which the Department’s competitive military advantage has been eroding,” a Pentagon budget overview said.

“The United States is facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order — creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any the United States has experienced in recent memory. Major power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.”

The budget request calls for a 2.6 percent pay raise for service members — the largest in nine years.

It also calls for an increase of active armed forces by 25,900, with an 11,500 increase for the Army; 7,500 for the Navy; 1,100 for the Marine Corps; and 4,000 for the Air Force.

The budget calls for an increase of reserve forces by 1,800, with an increase of 500 for the Army, Army National Guard and the Air National Guard each, and 100 for the Navy Reserve, 200 for the Air Force Reserve.

Of the $89 billion war-funding budget, $17.4 billion of it would go towards the Pentagon’s base budget; $48.9 billion would go towards the U.S. war against terrorists in Afghanistan; and $15.2 billion would go towards the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Within the war-funding budget, $6.5 billion would go towards the European Deterrence Initiative — bolstering European allies against Russian aggression; and $0.9 billion would go towards security cooperation, or training partner nations.

The Pentagon is increasing its support for Afghan forces by $300 million from its fiscal year 2018 request. That will support 352,000 members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, including 93,000 Afghan National Army (ANA), 116,000 Afghan National Police (ANP), 11,000 Afghan Air Force (AAF), and 32,000 Afghan Special Security Force (ASSF), and 30,000 Afghan Local Police (ALP).


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