President Donald Trump reiterated his support for U.S. special forces in the fight against terrorism, in a visit to United States Central Command Monday.
Trump pledged to increase the budget and operational capacity of the special forces declaring that “no enemy stands a chance.” Trump also declared that radical islamic terrorism will be defeated by the U.S. and its allies, to cheers from the military audience.
Trump repeatedly emphasized his commitment to increase U.S. defense budgets under his administration. Trump, along with both chairmans of the armed services’s committees in Congress, believe the U.S. should seriously re-invest in military capabilities.
Trump has already employed U.S. special forces in the fight against terrorism in a Jan 28 raid on an al-Qaida compound in Yemen. His administration has also reportedly loosened the process to carry out counter-terrorism raids, relegating green-light authority to lower levels within the Pentagon’s command structure. Some major raids, like that carried out in Yemen, will still require the Commander in Chief’s authority.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry wrote in a Jan 23 op-ed:
The Marine Corps is harvesting spare parts from museums to keep planes flying over Iraq. Air Force pilots fly fewer hours than some of our adversaries. The Chief of Staff of the Army has testified that the readiness of the Army is “not at a level that is appropriate for what the American people would expect to defend them.”
Trump’s first budget cycle will likely incorporate Thornberry’s and Senator John McCain’s plans. Reports indicate two thirds of the current U.S. Navy strike fighters are in the shop for maintenance.
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