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Critics: Trump is failing to rebuild U.S. military power

President Donald Trump is coming under fire for what critics say is a lack of movement to rebuild the U.S. military. Trump promised a stronger military during his campaign and the early days of his presidency. (FJPhotography/Getty Images)

Some lawmakers, Pentagon leaders, and defense executives claim that President Donald Trump is failing to build the bigger, stronger military he promised during his campaign and the early days of his presidency. They made the criticism at a weekend gathering at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, Politico reported.

What did Trump promise?

In January, Trump signed an executive order calling for the "great rebuilding of the armed forces."

Trump wants to increase the number of active-duty Army troops from 476,000 to 540,000. The Navy would also grow from 350 to  375 warships. Other plans calls for adding hundreds of fighter aircraft, boosting the missile defense system and increasing the nuclear arsenal.

Why hasn't it happened?

Republicans and Democrats disagree on spending. Republicans want to add tens of billions of dollars to defense spending. But Democrats want more money budgeted for domestic agencies.

"Nobody wants to pay more taxes, everyone wants to have the programs they like protected and everybody wants defense ... and they want the deficit to go away," Gen. Robert Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, told Politico. "The math just isn't there."

But House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) told Politico one year is simply not enough time to rebuild the military.

“You’re not going to rebuild in one year, so we’ll need to continue rebuilding,” he said.  “As far as changing the trajectory, now is the critical time."

When is a decision expected?

Lawmakers face a Friday deadline to pass the budget. On that day, funding for federal agencies runs out. At the very least, Republicans hope to pass a spending plan to prevent a partial government shutdown.  The plan would also keep the government services running into late December, allowing more time for Congress to iron out budget issues.

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