8 Sep 2016

Plan to defeat IS will only take 30 days, Trump says

10:26 am on 8 September 2016

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he will expand all areas of the US military if he wins November's election.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo: AFP

Mr Trump called for more troops, more planes and more boats at a rally in Philadelphia.

He also wants US generals to come up with a plan to defeat the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in his first 30 days in the White House.

Recent polls show the race for the presidency has narrowed.

Democrats and even some Republicans have painted Mr Trump as unfit to serve as US commander-in-chief but he has made up some ground on rival Hillary Clinton.

In his speech he called his vision for the US military "peace through strength".

"I am proposing a new foreign policy focused on advancing America's core national interests, promoting regional stability, and producing an easing of tensions in the world. This will require rethinking the failed policies," he said.

"Our adversaries are chomping at the bit," he added.

Trump vs the generals

Mr Trump's pledge to ask US military leaders how to defeat IS appeared to be a change of approach. Here is what he said previously:

"I know more about Isis (Islamic State) than the generals do. Believe me" - at a rally in November 2015

"I have a great plan. It's going to be great. They ask: 'What is it?' Well, I'd rather not say. I'd rather be unpredictable" - on his strategy for defeating IS in April this year

US generals "don't know much because they're not winning" - to CBS in June

"Immediately after taking office, I will ask my generals to present to me a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy Isis" - his comments on Wednesday

Mr Trump said his plan would be paid for by cutting government waste, collecting uncollected taxes and slimming down the federal workforce.

He also called for US Nato allies to meet their obligations to spend 2 percent of national income on defence.

Earlier this week, Mr Trump was endorsed by 88 former military leaders in an open letter, who declared the Republican nominee "has the temperament to be commander-in-chief".

Clinton 'trigger-happy'

Both Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton will take part back-to-back in a national security forum on Wednesday.

The forum, to be hosted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, will include questions from an audience of military service members.

During his speech Mr Trump attacked Mrs Clinton as "trigger-happy and very unstable".

But on Tuesday Mrs Clinton said US voters "know they can count on me to be the kind of commander-in-chief who will protect our country and our troops, and they know they cannot count on Donald Trump".

She added: "They view him as a danger and a risk.''

Despite making support for the military a signature issue in his campaign, Mr Trump has at various times drawn criticism from military members.

Most notably, he was involved in a spat with family members of a Muslim-American soldier killed during the Iraq War.

Some veterans and families of military members killed in action protested outside Trump Tower in New York on Wednesday.

- BBC

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