Throughout his campaign, President Trump argued for policies that could diminish the global role of the United States, while at the same time indicating that power through strength is a critical part of his defense strategy. Among other things, Trump has called for an increase in military personnel, a more aggressive campaign against ISIS, scaled-back funding to key programs like the F-35, and a focus on building up the Navy. And with the simmering conflicts in various parts of the world, the future of U.S. defense policy is uncertain.
On February 21, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence at Brookings hosted a panel of experts for a discussion on defense recommendations for the Trump administration. Experts included Thomas Wright, director and fellow of the Brookings Project on International Order and Strategy; Robert Hale, former comptroller of the Department of Defense; and Lt. Gen. (retired) Mike Moeller of Pratt & Whitney. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow at Brookings, moderated and conversed.
Former Comptroller, U.S. Department of Defense
Vice President for Business Development & International Programs, Pratt & Whitney
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[South Korean President] Moon’s challenge is get something from Kim [Jong-un] that he can then sell to [President] Trump. To judge from Trump’s endless flattery of Kim, this shouldn’t be too hard. The question is whether this game can persist indefinitely without definitive evidence of North Korean actions [as opposed to words] of what Kim has supposedly agreed to.