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Bush Signs $400 Billion Defense Bill


President Bush has signed a $400 billion defense spending bill for the current fiscal year, saying that at a time of conflict and challenge, America stands with its military.

Mr. Bush says the massive new defense spending bill sends an important message at a time when U.S. troops are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and engaged in fighting a global war on terrorism.

"We face enemies that measure their progress by the chaos they inflict, the fear they spread and the innocent lives they destroy," he said. "America's military is standing between our country and grave danger."

Speaking at a Pentagon signing ceremony for the legislation, the president described America's enemies as "cunning and ruthless and dangerous."

But he said the United States and its coalition partners will ultimately prevail.

"Yet these killers are now facing the United States of America and a great coalition of responsible nations and this threat to civilization will be defeated," said Mr. Bush.

The defense bill totals just over $400 billion. It includes a pay increase for military personnel as well as other benefits and reforms the defense department's civilian personnel system. It also includes funds for new aircraft, ships and ground combat equipment. In addition, the legislation provides just over $9 billion for ballistic missile defense.

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