The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorized funding above the President’s fiscal year 2018 budget request to meet the immediate needs of restoring readiness, rebuilding capacity, and recapitalizing capabilities. The Conference Report of the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services was published online.
It is noted that Russia’s ongoing aggressive actions (including its invasions of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014) constitute a major challenge to the security interests of the United States and that of our allies and partners in Europe. Furthermore, Russia’s ongoing malign influence activities (misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, cyber attacks, election interference, active measures, and hybrid warfare operations), pose not only a threat to the security interests of the United States and those of their allies and partners in Europe but also to the integrity of Western democracies and the institutions and alliances they support.
The U.S. authorizes $58 million for measures in response to the Russian violation of the INF Treaty, including a research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile, which would not place the United States in violation of the treaty.
The NDAA authorizes a base defense budget of $626.4 billion for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. This includes authorization for the administration’s $5.9 billion budget amendment for bolstering missile defense, repairing U.S. Navy ships after recent collisions at sea, and supporting the strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia. The bill also authorizes $65.8 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). In total, the NDAA supported a topline of $700 billion for national defense, for a total of $26.1 billion above the President’s request.
The conferees recognize that the Pentagon’s business operations are in need of reform. The NDAA includes a number of provisions to streamline administration, transform business practices, and eliminate excess bureaucracy.
It is noted that modernizing the force fully supports the modernization of the nuclear triad and ensures that U.S. nuclear forces are survivable, well-exercised, and increasingly ready to counter Russian nuclear provocations while reassuring allies.
U.S. authorizes $350 million to provide security assistance to Ukraine, including defensive lethal assistance. The legislation restricts half of these funds until the Secretary of 11 Defense certifies that Ukraine has taken substantial action to make defense institutional reforms critical to sustaining capabilities developed using security assistance.