Trump promises 'one of the largest military buildups' in history

By Daniel Uria  |  March 13, 2018 at 1:46 PM
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March 13 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said he is overseeing a massive military buildup in remarks to troops at California's Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Tuesday.

Trump said the U.S. military has been "asked to do more with less" citing deferred modernization and maintenance as well as longer deployments, and fewer troops and resources along with other issues.

"The Trump administration is committed to a policy of peace through strength," Trump said. "We are now undertaking one of the largest military buildups since Ronald Reagan and one of the largest military buildups we've ever had in the history of our nation."

Trump referenced the budget deal he signed in February, which increased defense spending by $165 billion and promised troops the "largest pay raise in over a decade" in 2019.

Trump touched on U.S. efforts to lead in space travel, saying "very soon we're going to Mars" before adding "you wouldn't even be thinking about it" if his opponent Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.

"My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air and sea. We may even have a Space Force," he said.

Trump said he conceived the idea as a joke before suggesting "service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the stars."

The president also addressed a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he expects "something great" to happen.

"We're doing a pretty good job with Korea right now and hopefully something positive will come out of it. We'll see and we're prepared for anything," Trump said.

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