The U.S. under the Trump administration is focused on rebuilding and updating the military to defend against all threats. In light of the stance that President Trump is taking in terms of his foreign policy, particularly as relates to Iran, the change in strategy for the military makes sense.
NDAA addresses Trump wish list
The Trump administration released a statement on August 13, noting that President Trump is signing the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The act authorizes $716 billion in spending for U.S. defenses. It also includes an authorization to increase the number of soldiers in each of the four military departments.
For those in the military, there will also be a raise and extending the bonuses and special pay for those in high demand fields.
Part of these efforts relate to the development of the strategy for countering the destabilizing activities of Iran. That strategy includes investing in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities; investing in countermeasure resources and platforms; as well as investing in cyber security and cyber defense capabilities.
Foreign policy in Middle East part of NDAA focus
Other aspects of the foreign policy of the Trump administration is focused on addressing threats from other countries throughout the world.
“We must protect those who protect us. When our service members are in uniform, it is our obligation to ensure that they have the finest equipment, the finest training, care, and resources, better than any military on earth,” said Trump.
In their statement, the White House noted that the NDAA supports key aspects of Trump’s National Defense Strategy, which is seen as critical to prepare the U.S. to address various strategic competition realities throughout the international community. There is also a United States Space Command that is to be established under the United States Strategic Command.
Other parts of the NDAA addresses concerns regarding the defense of allies, including Israel and Ukraine. There are also funds authorized to continue the fight against ISIS, including $850 million to train and equip Iraqi Security Forces.
On August 14, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al Abadi and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government. With the NDAA objective of increasing spending for the training of Iraqi military, these conversations are critical to assist in rebuilding Iraq, while addressing the fight against ISIS. There are still issues to be addressed in Iraq, including Iran’s influence in the Iraqi government, but Pompeo noted that the U.S. will continue to support efforts to build a strong and prosperous Iraq.