Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged on Wednesday to massively increase US military spending and said he would ask his generals for a plan to defeat the IS group within 30 days of taking office.
Speaking in Philadelphia, Trump said the military had become “so depleted” that it required a large-scale build-up, including troop increases and larger numbers of aircrafts and ships.
Taking a jab at Democratic rival Hillary Clinton ahead of their first joint event a Wednesday evening forum on the president’s role as commander-in-chief Trump called the former secretary of state “trigger happy and very unstable”. “Clinton’s legacy in Iraq, Libya and Syria has produced only turmoil and suffering and death,” he said.
Providing a more nuanced detail, Trump outlined proposals for an active army of around 5,40,000 troops, an air force of at least 1,200 fighter aircrafts, a 36-battalion marine corps and a navy of 350 surface ships and submarines. “I will ask Congress to fully offset the cost of increased military spending. In the process, we will make government leaner and more responsive to the public. We will be defended because without defence, we don’t have a country ,” he said.
Most national polls show Clinton leading as the US presidential race enters the home stretch, with just nine weeks until the November 8 election. Trump edged ahead of Clinton in a new CNN ORC poll, by 45% to 43% among likely voters.