$716 Billion Military Spending Bill Won’t Create Space Force, Limits Involvement in Yemen War

Flurry of amendments included in final NDAA

Passed on Wednesday, the $716 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) now goes to President Trump to sign. In addition to spending an unfathomable amount of money on the military, the bill includes a flurry of amendments addressing various issues.

One of the key issues is the Saudi invasion of Yemen. US involvement in the war will be limited, with the NDAA insisting that the US stop all operations until both the UAE and Saudi Arabia demonstrate support for the UN peace efforts and cut down the huge civilian death toll.

Other provisions include Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s (D-HI) bill to prevent the US from arming terrorist organizations in Syria, and a prohibition on selling F-35 warplanes to Turkey. It mandates a report on US-Turkey relations to be presented to Congress.

The NDAA declined to establish the Space Force announced by President Trump, but did include provisions that seek clarification from the Secretary of Defense on how exactly such a force would operate in the future. Similar details are sought on the future of cyber warfare.

Another amendment included bans the US government from working with Chinese telecom company ZTE. The amendment won out over a rival version that also forbade ZTE from doing any business in the US at all.

The NDAA also includes language expressing support for the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq, instructing the US government to support this force as part of the anti-ISIS campaign. It forbids the US arming Shi’ite militias inside Iraq, however.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.