Trump Takes the First Step in Restoring the US Military

© Jefferstom | Dreamstime.com – Donald Trump November 9, 2015 Photo

from – The Daily Signal – by Thomas Spoehr

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an exceptionally important executive order initiating both the beginning of the rebuilding of the U.S. armed forces and the fulfillment of a campaign promise.

Because he signed this order on the same day he signed the order on immigration it hasn’t yet gotten the attention it deserves. That’s a shame.

The order, titled “Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces,” has not yet been officially posted to the White House website. But a draft of the order, accompanied by news reports, gives us enough details to be able to assess it.

The order directs Secretary of Defense James Mattis to conduct a 30-day review of the readiness of the armed forces to assess their ability to conduct the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, and other forms of radical Islamic terrorism, as well as near peer competitors and regional adversaries.

This review is critically needed. The Heritage Foundation has been vocal in calling for such a review based on our independent assessment of the U.S. military.

The Heritage 2017 Index of U.S. Military Strength assessed our overall military capability as “marginal, trending towards weak” because of many years of budget cuts and overuse. Our assessment found that the U.S. Army today is the smallest it has been since the start of World War II; the Navy is the smallest it has been since World War I; and the Air Force suffers from crippling shortages of pilots and maintenance personnel. For example, the average age of the Air Force’s planes is 27 years old.

For too long the nation, and the president, has neglected the state of military readiness in favor of other priorities.

This 30-day review will allow the defense secretary and the president to establish the facts and determine the necessary priorities for the rebuilding of the military.

The order also calls for a review to “reduce commitments not directly related to the highest priority operations to make resources available for training and maintenance.” This is also overdue.

As described in the Heritage’s “Blueprint for Balance,” the Department of Defense spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on programs not directly related to military readiness such as non-military-related medical research, sustainable energy programs, and junior ROTC programs. Although there won’t be enough resources identified just through cuts and efficiencies to fix the Pentagon’s readiness problems, every little bit helps.

Perhaps most significantly, the order directs Mattis and the director of the Office of Budget and Management to develop both a new request for emergency funding for fiscal year 2017 and to revise the still-to-be-released budget request for 2018 to provide the increased funding needed to begin the rebuilding of the military.

That direction aligns with recommendations from both Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas. McCain and Thornberry, the chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services committees, respectively, both have a clear-eyed view of the critical state of the U.S. military and have written persuasively on the need for additional defense funding.

Obtaining additional funding for defense will require some difficult negotiations within Congress and with the White House, but the need is so critical that failure to succeed is not a viable option.

Congress and the administration will need to establish concrete and measurable objectives for the rebuilding of our military so that the American taxpayer can be assured that every dollar applied to defense results in an improvement.

Finally, the executive order calls for a new nuclear posture and missile defense reviews, two critical defense areas that have both suffered considerably under the Obama administration. Heritage has been consistent and vocal in pointing out the need for new reviews and increased investment of our nation’s nuclear and missile defense domains.

Could all of these actions been undertaken without a presidential executive order? Certainly. But by signing this order, Trump has sent an unambiguous signal across his administration that the rebuilding of our military is one of his top priorities. Given the threats our nation faces today to its national interests, this sends exactly the right signal to both our allies and potential adversaries.

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5 years ago

I too think we need to restore our military and should bring back the draft. I am a 65 year old Caucasian woman. I never thought I would live to see this beloved country in this condition. A strong military is our best defense. Our previous president is the worst of my lifetime, and not because of his race. My husband and his brother proudly served in the military years ago. His dad was a WWII Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. His nephew is a Marine serving overseas, seriously wounded in a battle but able to return to duty. So I guess you can say all branches of the military are “dear to our hearts”. Just a little info….my husband visited Israel in 1978. While there young men and women serving in the military patrolled the streets of Jerusalem with M16s.

William E. Woolet
5 years ago

Great News. Cannot begin on this too soon. It should be one of our nations highest priorities.

5 years ago

Defund Planned Parenthood by 75%, Welfare by 50%, and stop paying for interpreters for anyone who is not a citizen. Take the money and give it to the Military.

5 years ago

The trouble with America today is that we have been under bad and misguided leadership for so long that now that we have a pro-America leader, he has to fight our own people/media/schools to get the right things done to save our nation! There needs to be a united front to change the left wing anti-American media and colleges so that our people can once again unite with a better understanding of what we are facing today and what needs to be done about it. Without these actions it will be difficult for America to survive much longer. Thank God that enough people woke up in time to give us one more chance to try to save her.

5 years ago

We should have all our young citizens, no matter the gender, serve at least 2 years in the Service of their choosing provided they meet the requirements.

5 years ago

Now the next step……DEFUND THE MASSIVELY CORRUPT VA…..issue Disabled Veterans a Health Credit Card so they may finally receive the proper (BETTER) health care, when (FASTER) & where (NEAR) needed.

5 years ago

I agree with Trump totally. A strong military is our best defense against the coming battles America will have to fight. Other nations should have a certain level of fear in taking on America. Perhaps draft some of our newly arrived citizens into the army. I doubt that many muslims would defend America. They are infiltrating our country to help destroy us internally.

5 years ago
Reply to  Gulliver

look no further then Ft Hood, TX for my opinion on muslims in the US military. yes there are other examples also. for the few that might do the right thing there is no way I would take the chance

God Bless America

5 years ago
Reply to  Trap

To forbid active duty Military Personnel to have fire arms on any Military Base is totally dumb. They are trained in the use of fire arms, we should allow them the opportunity to have and use them

Bruce K.
5 years ago

Although the left will have another major hemorrhage, additional funds can be raised by shutting off welfare and medical benefits to all non legal citizens except those with work permits or other legitimate reasons to be here. It is high time to put American citizens first. This would create an additional reason for them to return to their country of origin.

Jerry S
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce K.

Since the left is unable to comprehend rational thought they won’t understand your statement.(as good as it is)

A Barnes
5 years ago


5 years ago
Reply to  A Barnes

Join The USA must go on the OFFENSIVE…….since the weak current defensive posture is NOT WORKING & is cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Bomb Mecca & Medina for a start……hold Koran burning tail gate parties. Show that the USA is out to destroy the radical rabid MU-Slime savages and any who support them.

Evon Cooper
5 years ago

The DRAFT BOARD should be reestablished to ensure the USA has adequate trained troops, as needed, when deployment on the homeland or abroad as necessary.

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