I’d up defence spending, give generals 30 days to prepare anti-IS plan: Trump

Washington: US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday proposed “completely” eliminating the defence budget cutbacks adopted to reduce the US deficit and said that, if elected, he will give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat and destroy the Islamic State.

Trump delivered a speech in Philadelphia in which he detailed his national security proposals, just hours before participating with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the first Commander in Chief Forum in New York organised by the NBC television network, EFE news reported.

The motto guiding his security policy, Trump said, will be “peace through strength” and it will focus on “diplomacy, not destruction”.

He said that, if he wins the presidency, he will ask Congress to “completely” eliminate the automatic defence spending cuts that entered into force in 2013 to reduce the deficit and he will present a new budget to “rebuild” the country’s Armed Forces.

Those cuts, known as the “sequester” and valued at $1.2 trillion through 2023, affected many of the government’s programmes, in particular the Pentagon budget.

According to Trump, military spending under President Barack Obama has fallen to the lowest levels since the end of World War II.

In addition, Trump said that — as President — he would give the US military 30 days to present a plan to “defeat and destroy” the Islamic State, according to proposals released by his campaign.

He said that Washington should work with any country that shares the objective of destroying the IS, adding that he wants an active Army of 540,000 troops, up from the 450,000 proposed by Obama, a Navy equipped with 350 warships and submarines and an Air Force with at least 1,200 combat aircraft.

With these proposals, Trump is seeking to convince sceptics, many of them within the Republican Party, that he is prepared to be the US commander in chief, EFE news added.

He went on to criticise Clinton as being “trigger-happy and very unstable” during her four years as Secretary of State, asserting that her activities in that post produced “only turmoil, suffering and death”.