Pentagon seeks $583 billion budget for 2017; Republicans say it's not enough

5 Challenges Facing the US Military
5 Challenges Facing the US Military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon proposed a $582.7 billion defense budget on Tuesday that emphasizes threats like Russia, China and Islamic State rebels, but the plan is already under fire from Republicans who accuse President Barack Obama of short-changing the military.

Obama's defense budget for the 2017 fiscal year would increase spending on the fight against Islamic State militants to $7.5 billion from $5 billion this year, a 50 percent jump.

Learn more about the history of ISIS:

The proposal also would quadruple funds to counter Russian pressure in Europe following its seizure of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and repeated strategic bomber flights near NATO air space. Spending to boost U.S. presence and training in Europe would rise to $3.4 billion from $800 million this year.

Officials and analysts say the budget marks a strategic inflection point as the Washington looks beyond the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and seeks to counter potential strategic threats from large powers like Russia and China as well as smaller rivals like Iran and North Korea.

"The United States has moved beyond the large ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that defined much of U.S. foreign policy over the past decade," the administration's budget document says. "The nation must continue to reform and invest in our military ... to ensure its dominance in every domain."

Overall, the administration is seeking a Pentagon base budget of $523.9 billion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, plus $58.8 billion in war funding and overseas operations, mainly the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, plus the effort to boost security in Europe.

The proposed budget is in line with last year's congressional budget deal, which set Pentagon funding guidelines for 2016 and 2017. But Republicans have criticized the spending plan for war funding, saying the figure in the budget deal was a floor, not a ceiling, and the president should have sought more.

%shareLinks-quote="We believe that an adequate national defense requires significantly more funding," type="quote" author="Representative Mac Thornberry" authordesc="Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee" isquoteoftheday="false"%

"We believe that an adequate national defense requires significantly more funding," Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a letter to the House Budget Committee released on Monday and signed by 33 other member of the panel.

The Pentagon budget seeks $71.8 billion for research an development, a 4 percent increase over this fiscal year as the department looks to develop new military technologies that can give it an edge over rival forces.

But it cuts procurement of new systems to $112.1 billion, a 6 percent drop from the current year, budget documents show.

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