Proposals for the Defense Department in President Donald Trump's first budget are displayed at the Government Printing Office in Washington, Thursday, March, 16, 2017. An essential element is missing from President Donald Trump’s plan for boosting the budgets of the U.S. military services by $54 billion in 2018. How, exactly, does the commander in chief intend to use the world’s most potent fighting force? (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Trump's defense budget boost raises questions on strategy

March 17, 2017 - 4:08 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — An essential element is missing from President Donald Trump's plan for boosting the budgets of the U.S. military services by $54 billion in 2018. How, exactly, does Trump intend to use the world's most potent fighting force?

Beyond the threat posed by Islamic State militants, Trump doesn't articulate what he's defending the country from. Defeating what Trump calls "radical Islamic terrorism" doesn't require tens of billions more dollars. And Trump has viewed Russia as a potential partner, not an adversary.

Trump's proposed defense budget of $639 billion totals more than the next seven countries combined.

Yet the president's plan says little about where the money will be spent.

The goal is to rebuild a military that Trump and other Republicans say former President Barack Obama allowed to fall into disrepair.

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