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Obama Signs US Defense Budget for 2017

© Flickr / Gonzalo AlonsoA Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis combat system equipped Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) during a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test
A Standard Missile (SM-3) is launched from the Aegis combat system equipped Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) during a Missile Defense Agency ballistic missile flight test - Sputnik International
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Outgoing President Barack Obama has signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to set the budget for the US Department of Defense, the White House announced in a release.

US President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the briefing room at the White House in Washington, DC. (File) - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Obama noted in a statement on Friday that the NDAA for the next year includes necessary authorizations to sustain the momentum in the fight against Daesh, reassuring European allies as well as providing more flexibility in countering cyberattacks.

Obama pointed out that while NDAA requires the creation of a unified combatant command for cyber operations forces, it at the same time prohibits the Defense Secretary from terminating the "dual-hat" arrangement under which the Commander of US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) also serves as the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA).

"That said, after directing a comprehensive review of this issue earlier this year, and consistent with the views of the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, I strongly support elevating CYBERCOM to a unified combatant command and ending the dual-hat arrangement for NSA and CYBERCOM ‑ a position my administration has communicated to the incoming administration," Obama stated.

The president expressed his disappointment that amid the US engagement in military operations against the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, the US Congress redirected funding needed for the warfighter "to fund additional end-strength that our military leaders have not requested."

Obama also criticized Congress for its failure to take action to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"As I have said before, spending hundreds of millions of dollars, year after year, to keep fewer than sixty men in an isolated detention facility in Cuba is not consistent with our interests as a Nation and undermines our standing in the world," he asserted. "It weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists."

The US Senate and House of Representatives passed the 2017 NDAA earlier in December.

The Act increases base funding by $9 billion and provide US soldiers a 2.1 percent pay raise.

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