Trump Outlines Scattershot Plan For Yooooge Military Buildup

Donald Trump laid out a national security plan that would dramatically increase defense spending and troop levels during a Wednesday address at the Union League of Philadelphia.

Calling for a Middle East policy “tempered by realism,” Trump promised to “make America great again, greater than ever before.”

The GOP nominee kicked off his speech with a critique of Hillary Clinton. Trump first labeled the former secretary of state an interventionist who oversaw costly military missions in the Middle East before attacking her for helping President Barack Obama decrease defense spending “to the lowest level as a share of the economy since the end of World War II.”

Trump fired many of the insults Clinton has used against him in regards to foreign policy—“unfit,” “unstable,” “unqualified”—back at her.

“She’s trigger happy and very unstable,” he said.

“Hillary Clinton’s legacy in Iraq, Libya, Syria has produced only turmoil and suffering and death,” Trump said, though he has previously expressed support for interventions in all three countries.

The real estate mogul, who has frequently criticized the expense of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on the campaign trail, then pledged to eliminate the sequester on defense spending. Under his leadership, Trump said, the U.S. military would have an active army of about 540,000 people, a 36-batallion Marine Corps, larger Navy and Air Force fleets, a “state-of-the-art” missile defense system and greater funding for the Defense Department’s “cyber capabilities.”

He was specific on the exact number of troops and aircraft carriers needed to protect the United States, but less clear on how these muscular security measures would be funded.

Some options included replacing retiring federal employees with a “smaller number of new employees,” trimming federal bureaucracy and “unleashing American energy.”

Trump suggested that he would “respectfully” ask allied countries to whom the United States provides security to pay more for that protection and would urge all NATO allies to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense, as the United States does.

According to Trump, those NATO countries “will be happy to do it.” Germany, Japan, South Korea and the other countries that have U.S. military protection will “willfully understand” that they should pay more because they are “economic behemoths,” Trump predicted.

Trump and Clinton are scheduled to participate in successive town-hall style forums on national security hosted by CNN on Wednesday night.

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