Trump signs directive spurring 'great rebuilding' of armed forces

 
President Trump on Friday afternoon signed an executive memorandum that he said would spark a "great rebuilding" of the United States military.


"First, I’m signing an executive action to begin a great rebuilding of the armed services of the United States, developing a plan for new planes, new ships new resources, and new tools for our men and women in uniform, and I’m very proud to be doing that," he said at the Pentagon.

"As we prepare our budget request for Congress ... our military strength will be questioned by no one, but neither will our dedication to peace, we do want peace." 
 
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The executive action calls on Trump's newly minted Defense secretary James Mattis — who was sworn in by Trump at the Pentagon on Friday — to conduct reviews and make recommendations aimed at bolstering the military and U.S. nuclear capabilities.

 
Mattis was instructed to conduct a 30-day “readiness review" of the armed forces to assess "readiness conditions, including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure" and submit a report about actions that can be implemented within the fiscal year.
  
The document also calls for a joint review from the Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to craft a budget amendment that would boost military spending this year and give Mattis the ability to make changes to his agency’s budget proposal for 2018 within 90 days.
 
Mattis is also tasked with reviewing the United States' ballistic missile and nuclear systems to "ensure that the United States nuclear deterrent is modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready, and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies."
 
Strengthening the military was one of Trump's major campaign promises. He said this week that he would prioritize military spending over a balanced budget.