The US Congress approved a massive military spending bill on Friday worth more than half a trillion dollars, which includes billions of dollars for waging wars and developing nuclear weapons.
The legislation sets the Pentagon’s budget for fiscal year 2015 at $577 billion, including a base budget of $496 billion and $64 billion for conflicts abroad, including the war in Afghanistan and fighting ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
It also authorizes $17.9 billion for the US Department of Energy to work on the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 89-11 and sent it to President Barack Obama to sign into law. The House of Representatives passed the measure last week.
“This bill includes a pay raise for members of the Armed Services, it enhances our efforts to keep our warfighters safe on the battlefield, and it authorizes the resources needed to responsibly conclude our combat mission in Afghanistan,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The bill formally endorses the Pentagon’s $5 billion plan to vet, train and equip the so-called moderate militants to fight against the ISIL and the Syrian government as well as training and assisting Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting against ISIL terrorists in Iraq.
The measure also prevents the closing of the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, despite objections from human rights organizations and President Barack Obama.
A section of NDAA permits the military to seize US citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities.
The United States spends more on its military than any other nation in the world. The US spent $640 billion on defense in 2013, followed by China with $188 billion and Russia with $88 billion.