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DONALD TRUMP Q & A


Sequestration law requires the defense budget to absorb 50 percent of a nearly $1 trillion budget cut over a 10-year period. What is your view of that allocation and the share of future budget cuts that should be taken from defense? Our first task after taking office is to restore robust growth in our economy. Without a strong economy, we will not be able to begin the effort to modernize our military forces and restore combat readiness. I will ask Congress to rescind sequestration and will present a budget that will begin the process of recapitalizing our military. Our goal will be to reshape the armed forces to fight current and future enemies while at the same time establishing fiscal responsibility in our budgeting and acquisition processes.


In the past, large post-war force reductions have left insufficient forces to meet the next unexpected contingency. Considering the extraordinary stresses on our military over the past 15 years of war and continuing threats from ISIS, Iran, North Korea, and others, what force levels (relative to current forces) do you believe are needed to be prepared for potential future contingencies?


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK


Force levels must be determined on how we intend to defend our country and allies and on how we intend to fight our enemies. We must consider the configuration of our armed forces as well as the numbers of forces we intend to field. Our goal should be to blend technology into our force mix so that we provide maximum lethality and situational awareness to our fighting men and women. As the threats to this nation change, we must have an agile, and adaptable, and sufficient force to meet those threats. In business, we organize to achieve our goals and objectives. We must have a military that is organized, staffed, and equipped to meet our nation’s threats.


Some studies have proposed making the military benefit package (retirement, health care, etcetera) substantially like that of civilian workers. In view of the dramatically


different demands and sacrifices entailed in military versus civilian careers, to what extent do you believe the military must maintain a unique benefit package to attract a high-quality career force? Military benefits, including health care, housing, commissaries, exchanges and retirement, need


to be structured to attract the best talent needed to our armed forces. I will use my private sector experience to make sure that we are doing the best we can by our military members. We will certainly not be reducing or cutting benefits for our members. More importantly, the best benefits package is of little value if military personnel are over- extended by repeated deployments to frustrating combat situations. As Commander in Chief, I will ask to put our forces in harm’s way only when it is to protect our national interests and only if we have a clear objective and plan for victory.


Recent VA budgets have been increased substantially, but many wartime veterans will need continuing support for decades. What is your view on how this national obligation can be met in the face of increasing budget constraints? The Donald J. Trump ten-step Veterans Reform Plan can be reviewed at https://www .donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/ icymi-trumps-ten-point-plan-to-re form-the-va. Or visit https://www .donaldjtrump.com/positions/ veterans-administration-reforms for the full Donald J. Trump Veterans Reform Plan. The guiding principle of the


Trump Veterans Plan is ensuring veterans have convenient and timely access to top-quality care. The Veterans health system will remain a public system, because it is a public trust. But never again will we allow any veteran to suffer or die waiting for care. That means Veterans will have the right to go to a VA facility, or the right to see a private doctor or clinic of their choice — whatever is fastest and best for the veteran. The Veteran will be in control.


OCTOBER 2016 MILITARY OFFICER 51


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