File Photo: U.S. forces are seen at the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a nearly 700-billion-dollar annual defense policy bill in the White House, which authorizes the U.S. military to add troops, ships, planes and other equipment.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was passed by the Congress last month, authorizes 626.4 billion U.S. dollars for the base defense budget and 65.7 billion dollars for a war fund known as Overseas Contingency Operations.
The money would go toward adding 7,500 active-duty soldiers to the Army, 4,000 active-duty sailors to the Navy, 1,000 active-duty Marines and 4,100 active-duty airmen to the Air Force.
It would also allow for a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, higher than the 2.1 percent requested by the administration.
Under the bill, the Pentagon will be allowed to buy 90 F-35s, 20 more than requested; 24 F/A-18s, 10 more than requested; and three littoral combat ships, two more than requested, among other equipment purchases.
Moreover, the bill folds in the administration's November request for four billion dollars more for missile defense and 1.2 billion dollars to support sending another 3,500 troops to Afghanistan.
The U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force would also see increases in the reserves and National Guard, according to a report by the Washington-based political news website The Hill.
However, the total money exceeds budget caps by more than 80 billion dollars and the Congress has yet to pass a defense spending bill to make the buildup a reality.