US President Donald Trump is set to sign a more than 700 billion US dollar defense bill for the fiscal year 2019 on Monday, giving more money to countries like Sri Lanka.
The bill gives big increases to the US military to counter the White House’s calls for greater competition, specifically with China and Russia, CGTN reported.
A week after approval from the House of Representatives, the US Senate passed the 716 billion US dollar National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Aug. 2, backing Trump’s call for a bigger and stronger military.
The defense act is aimed to provide more money to forge closer defense relationships with other nations like India and Sri Lanka. This year saw the first visit of a US aircraft carrier to Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War.
Timothy Heath, senior international defense researcher from Rand Corporation said the US is increasing its already overwhelming naval and air superiority all over the Indo-Pacific region.
“It’s not simply authorizing more planes and ships to be built, which it does, but it also directs reporting requirements on issues on influence operations and espionage,” he said