For generations, America’s success has been underwritten by its military strength. That strength has deterred aggression and countered the forces of evil that threaten freedom and our way of life.

This run of prosperity, however, cannot lead us to complacency. The past two years of heightened global unrest are evidence that the end of the Cold War did not mark the end of great power competition. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global aggression by the People’s Republic of China, the brutality of Hamas and other Iranian proxies, and the unending antagonism of North Korea are reminders of this sobering truth.

In the face of these challenges, American military strength is needed now more than ever. But we cannot rely on our legacy arsenal to retain military advantage and deter these threats. We must prepare for a modern fight to preserve America’s superiority. The fiscal 2024 Defense Appropriations Act funds these preparations.

The approximately $824.5 billion provided in the bill, which accounts for a $27 billion increase over the FY23 enacted level, is directed to the highest national defense priorities, in particular countering the People’s Republic of China, prioritizing innovation at the Pentagon, and investing in quality-of-life initiatives for service members and their families.

To deter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region, the bill maxes out the production of critical munitions, doubles security cooperation funding for Taiwan, and prioritizes the delivery of defense articles and services to Taiwan. It rejects the Biden administration’s inadequate procurement and divestment suggestions, and instead funds eight battle ships while retaining four others; increases investments in fifth- and sixth-generation aircraft; and provides over $66 billion in Indo-Pacific-relevant capabilities. These decisions demonstrate America’s capacity and intent to stand with Taiwan as well as our allies and partners in the region.

Today’s Department of Defense is an overburdened and antiquated bureaucracy confronted with the realities of the 21st century. The bill recognizes that the military will only achieve the modernization it needs by tapping into America’s entrepreneurial spirit, and it provides an unprecedented investment in innovation.

Included in that investment is $1 billion for the Defense Innovation Unit and military services to accelerate acquisition and fielding as well as $300 million for the successful Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies program, which will work to overcome the infamous valley of death.

The most cutting-edge military technologies still rely on the ingenuity of American service members. At the core of our military might are the men and women who serve the nation so bravely. The bill recognizes that and honors them, funding the largest increase in basic military pay in more than 20 years (5.2%) and providing $123 million for recruiting and retention incentives and service member cost-of-living adjustments.

The bill also resources across-the-board investments in our military families with funding to address out-of-pocket family costs such as child care; to expand spouse employment opportunities; and to conduct medical research on areas of significance to the military community.

Undoubtedly, the bill invests in a more modern, innovative and ready fighting force. In the midst of unparalleled threats to the United States and its interests, this sends a strong message that we are prepared to meet and defeat any adversary.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, chairs the House Appropriations Committee, where Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif., chairs the Defense Subcommittee.

More In Opinion