The U.S. military today announced plans to spend an extra $2.7 billion taking care of its troops -- repairing run-down military housing, offering cost-of-living adjustments and providing family-oriented benefits like child care. Defense Secretary William Perry said the outlay, a 5% boost for such programs, will have to come from cuts elsewhere because the new G.O.P.-controlled Congress probably won't appropriate more money. TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson says members of the rank and file believe Perry is sincerely concerned about their welfare. "Even on the U.S. bases, a lot of the housing is really dilapidated," he says. "A lot of these folks are overworked and away from their families. It's important that if they're going to be stretched, they feel their families are being taken care of back home." Another motive: "The Democrats are very concerned over the prospect of a hollow military, and they're spending money to ensure it doesn't happen."Post your opinion on theWashingtonbulletin board.