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The Great Rebuilding of the Armed Forces

President Trump signed an executive order Friday to launch what he called a “great
rebuilding of the Armed Forces” that is expected to include new ships, planes and
weapons and the modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Trump, making his first visit to the Pentagon since his Jan. 20 inauguration, said the
order was signed “to ensure the sacrifices of our military are supported by the
actions of our government.”

The order calls for new Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to carry out a 30-day
“readiness review” that is expected to examine needs for the war against the Islamic
State, along with training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization and

Within 60 days, Mattis also must submit to Trump a plan to improve overall
readiness in the military by fiscal 2019. It will focus on everything from maintenance
backlogs to the availability of training ranges and manpower shortages, and the time
needed to coordinate and carry out military training.

Trump also called for reviews of the U.S. military’s nuclear arsenal and of ballistic
missile defense.

Trump signed the order at the Pentagon hours after he said at the White House that
he will allow Mattis, who retired as a Marine general in 2013, to “override” him on
whether the United States tortures terrorism suspects. Trump has said he is
convinced torture works, while Mattis believes interrogations should be carried out
according to U.S. military guidelines, which specifically ban techniques such as

“He’s an expert. He’s highly respected. I happen to feel that it does work,” Trump
said, without mentioning that Congress has banned torture. “I’ve been open about
that for a long period of time. But I am going with our leaders.”

Administration officials declined to discuss the order on military growth ahead of its
signing. It states that Trump will pursue “Peace Through Strength,” a campaign
catchphrase, and addresses concerns that senior military officials have expressed
for years about “military readiness,” the ability of a unit to carry out operations.

See also 2017 Military Pay Charts