Secretary of Defense James Mattis has issued his initial campaign plan for rebuilding America's military, pursuant to a presidential directive signed January 27. If Congress provides necessary funding, the Mattis plan would reverse a steady erosion of the joint force's warfighting edge that resulted from caps on military spending during the Obama years. In fact, the plan may usher in a surge of spending on new military technology unlike anything seen since the Reagan years.
All four of the military services General Mattis oversees would get a boost, but the biggest beneficiary during President Trump's tenure will be the service that is currently in the direst straits -- the Army. That's because the fixes the Army needs can be implemented more quickly than expanding the Navy's fleet or fielding a new Air Force bomber. In fact, making the Army healthy again could be largely accomplished during Trump's first term -- which is a good thing since it is pivotal to deterring East-West war in Europe.
After two decades of fighting lightly-equipped insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has fallen behind near-peer adversaries -- most notably Russia -- in a wide array of capabilities including long-range fires (missiles and artillery), air defense, force protection, electronic warfare, and cybersecurity. The Army needed so much money to sustain the force structure and readiness demanded by a global war on terror that there wasn't much left for replacing old equipment -- especially after Congress capped spending in 2011.