Donald Trump's show of military strength Photogallery

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WASHINGTON-If U.S. President Donald Trump had wanted to make a gracious mention of John McCain, the ailing Republican senator from Arizona, he could have done it Monday, when the president signed the $716 billion (U.S.) military spending bill named in McCain's honour. "You know, the decorated war hero who was a prisoner of war and continues to serve as a United States senator, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee".

Trump said that Patton's words "still ring true", noting that the American military was the most powerful in the world.

President Trump is signing a defense spending bill Monday as his first public event after his working vacation in Bedminster, New Jersey.

It also authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops, the largest in almost a decade, as well as boost the size of the Navy and the ranks of the military by 15,600 active-duty troops.

The compromise bill removes a provision reinstating penalties against ZTE and restricting the company's ability to buy USA component parts.

"We will increase the size and strength of our military by adding thousands of new recruits to active duty", he said.

The president also said the measure will help to create the new U.S. Space Force, which he said is necessary to counter military moves by China and others in orbit.

Trump said the bill "is the most significant investment in our military and our war-fighters in modern history".

The White House opposed putting stronger measures against the companies in the bill, and the measures were softened before lawmakers held their final vote.

Critics say such a move would play into the hands of North Korea and China, . which wish to see USA troops removed from near their border.

Under the new law, $616.9 billion is authorized for the base Pentagon budget in fiscal 2019, which starts October 1.

Prior to the ceremony Trump watched an air assault demonstration by US troops at Fort Drum.

The bill also directs the Secretary of Defense to study whether Turkey's planned deployment of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system will risk the security of several US-made weapons used by Turkey, including the F-35 jet.