Republican Donald Trump won the presidency on Tuesday, cinching 279 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton’s 228. Throughout the campaign, Trump has said the US military is in “bad shape,” and has called on Congress to repeal the Budget Control Act and submit a new budget that would “rebuild our depleted military.” What that means for the Air Force is not entirely clear, however. According to Trump’s campaign website, he wants to “provide the US Air Force with the 1,200 fighter aircraft they need.” However, USAF currently has 2,034 Total Force fighter/attack aircraft, including 1,312 in the Active Duty alone. For the other services, Trump wants to increase the Army’s Active Duty end strength to 540,000, rebuild the US naval fleet to 350 ships, and grow the Marine Corps to 36 battalions. He has said he will call on the Defense Secretary and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work with other federal agencies to conduct a “comprehensive review” of US “cyber vulnerabilities,” so they can then “provide recommendations on enhancing US Cyber Command, with a focus on both offense and defense” against state and non-state actors, according to his website.
Trump’s foreign policy agenda will be a significant departure from the outgoing Obama Administration. He has repeatedly questioned the United States’ ability to continue providing the lion’s share of defense funding to the NATO Alliance, saying in the final presidential debate that the US can no longer afford to defend countries such as “Japan, Germany, [and] South Korea,” without some type of reimbursement. He has called for an “end of the current strategy of nation-building and regime change.” And, when asked if he would use a nuclear weapon in the Middle East or Europe, he said, “I would never take any of my cards off the table.” On ISIS, Trump said he will continue to “pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy” the terrorist organization, by cutting off its funding, expanding intelligence sharing, and using cyber warfare “to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting,” according to his website. Trump also has said he will bring back waterboarding, “and a hell of a lot worse.”