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Trump preparing order to significantly grow military: report

Trump preparing order to significantly grow military: report
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President Trump is weighing a draft executive order that would significantly strengthen the military and its capabilities, according to a new report.

The order would task new Defense Secretary James Mattis with pursuing Trump’s campaign pledge of “Peace through Strength” by overhauling military spending, The Washington Post said Friday.

Trump’s plan would have the Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) combine to craft a “military readiness emergency budget amendment.”

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The amendment would boost military spending this year, the Post reports, allowing Mattis to then revise the Pentagon’s tentative budget proposal for 2018 within 90 days. Mattis would be charged with creating a new national security strategy that explicitly bolsters the military by that January.

Areas of focus would include modernizing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, beefing up missile defense, adding new Special Operations forces and addressing delays in the maintenance of existing equipment.

The draft order stipulates Mattis must overcome “shortfalls” in ares such as cyberwarfare, personnel recovery and expeditionary naval forces.

It would charge Mattis with conducting a 30-day “readiness review” to assess what is needed for combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The review would examine military training, maintenance, ammunition and infrastructure, all while preparing for “other forms of Islamic terror.”

The analysis would also reevaluate how the U.S. could implement operations against unspecific “near-peer competitors,” the Post said, a group that U.S. officials typically list as China and Russia.

The Post reports that the order calls for cutting projects that are not deemed “the highest priority operations” but offers no further details on what areas might be impacted.

The draft, which is three pages, addresses longstanding concerns from senior military officials about “military readiness,” or the ability of a unity to successfully conduct operations.

Congress mandated budget cuts called sequestration in 2013 that significantly altered the equipment and training of some units.

Trump in December urged the U.S. to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.” 

Former President Obama initiated a nuclear revitalization program during his tenure that is estimated to cost up to $1 trillion over three decades.