Donald Trump's show of military strength Photogallery

Carolyn Kaster  AP

Carolyn Kaster AP

"After years of devastating cuts, we're now rebuilding our military like we never have before".

The two men have always been fierce critics of each other, with McCain calling Trump's supporters "crazies" in 2015 and Trump retaliating by questioning whether McCain, who was subjected to torture in a Vietnamese prison camp, is really a "war hero" because "he was captured".

Trump also argued the bill would unjustly limit his presidential authority by restricting military-to-military cooperation with Russia and mandating he report to Congress if the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty or if he discussed a new START Treaty with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The measure authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops - the largest in almost a decade.

Some lawmakers wanted to reinstate sanctions on ZTE for illegally shipping products to Iran and North Korea. "Just like the air, the land, the sea, space has become a warfighting domain", Trump said. "They want to jam transmissions that threaten our battlefield operations, and so many other things".

It also authorizes a 2.6-percent pay raise for members of the military, boosts the ranks of the United States military services by 15,600 active troops and approves the purchase of 13 new Navy warships and 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

China angered at new US defence act, to assess content
Trump signed the $717 billion Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act at a ceremony at Fort Drum , New York, Aug. 13. The law also bars the US from selling F-35 fighter jets to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey.

The bill represents a $82 billion funding increase for the Department of Defense over the current period, including a $617 billion Pentagon budget, $22 billion for the nuclear weapons program and $69 billion for US military efforts overseas. The H.R. 5515 bill was named after the longtime Arizona senator and chair of the Senate Armed Service Committee.

Prior to the ceremony Trump watched an air assault demonstration by USA troops at Fort Drum.

Before signing the bill, Trump witnessed an artillery raid demonstration, noting that "nobody stands a chance against you folks".

A tit-for-tat over the F-35s could leave the USA and all other parties with stakes in the F-35 program short-suited, a much costlier bet than the $12 billion profit expected by participating Turkish firms.

Apart from Turkey, the U.S., U.K., Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Norway and Denmark are also present as participant members of the F-35 fighter jet program.

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