As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump brands Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as a reckless warmonger who would lead the nation into more foreign military quagmires, he’s gaining the support of former national security officials.
During a speaking event in Philadelphia, Trump said Clinton’s tenure at the State Department provides plenty of evidence that the former top diplomat is a bad choice if voters wish to see a more stable world following the election.
“She’s trigger-happy and very unstable. Whether we like it or not, that’s what’s going on. She’s also reckless,” Trump said.
Clinton’s lust for blood in the Middle East, the GOP candidate said, dates back to her time in the Senate when supported the Iraq invasion.
“Sometimes it seemed like there wasn’t a country in the Middle East that Hillary Clinton didn’t want to invade, intervene in, or topple,” Trump said, adding that her diplomatic legacy was one of “failure and death.”
Trump said the approximately $6 trillion total cost of the U.S.’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan should have been used for improvements at home.
“We could have rebuilt our country over and over again. Yet after all this money was spent and lives lost, Clinton’s policies as secretary of state have left the Middle East in more disarray than ever before,” the candidate said.
Trump added: “Had we done nothing, we would have been in a far better position,’ Trump continued. Meanwhile, China has grown more aggressive and North Korea more dangerous and belligerent than ever.”
Though Trump appears to be suggesting that his administration would keep overseas military meddling at a minimum, he certainly isn’t making the case for military spending cuts or a reduction in force.
The GOP candidate is calling for expansions that would bring U.S. Army troop levels to around 540,000 while maintaining a Marine Corps of 36 battalions, a 350 ship Navy and 1,200 Air Force fighter planes.
The GOP candidate said he would also rely heavily on the opinions of the nation’s top generals in coming up with a multi-faceted plan to defeat ISIS.
“This will require a military warfare, but also cyber warfare, financial warfare, and ideological warfare,” he said.
“Instead of an apology tour, which you saw President Obama give over and over again, I will proudly promote our system of government and way of life as the best in the world, just like we did in our campaign against communism during the Cold War.”
On Tuesday, the Trump campaign released a letter of support signed by 88 high-ranking former military officials.
“The 2016 election affords the American people an urgently needed opportunity to make a long-overdue course correction in our national security posture and policy,” the letter says.
The candidate’s talk about a major expansion of the size of the nation’s military also appears to be winning over some GOP hawks on Capitol Hill.