It's not an extra 717 billion, that is the annual Defense budget. More then a quarter of that goes for salaries and to pay pensions. A second large component (about a third of the budget) goes for training and maintenance of the equipment. Much of the rest of the budget goes either to fund actual military operations or replacement and upgrades to equipment.
We spend more because unlike the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Syrans, etc. we much prefer to pay for equipment and tactics that drasticly limit our own causalties. Human wave tactics are still part of the military playbook in China, Russia, and Iran while we mopved away from such tactics in the aftermath of the civil war.
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