Trump signs orders on rebuilding military and ‘extreme vetting’

Trump released a presidential national security memorandum aimed at rebuilding the US military. The memorandum calls for a 30-day review of military readiness, a plan for how to bolster the military, and a review of nuclear weapons.

President Trump charged his new Defense secretary with rebuilding the military and announced an executive order to clamp down on refugee admissions in the United States during a visit Friday to the Pentagon.

The presidential national security memorandum — a never-before-seen form of presidential directive — calls for a 30-day review of military readiness. It requires the the Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget to come up with a plan to bolster the military, and calls for an examination of the nation’s nuclear arsenal and missile-defense capabilities.

Trump signed the memorandum after a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Trump called the former Marine general “a man of action” in whom he has “total confidence.”

“Our military strength will be questioned by no one, but neither will our dedication to peace,” Trump said.

In a signing ceremony in the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes, the president also signed a separate executive order that he said would “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” In signing the two orders together, Trump drew a connection between migration and national security. “We want to make sure we don’t want to admit into our country the very terrorists that our soldiers are fighting overseas,” he said.

Trump’s directive did not specifically mention the Islamic State, but Trump also received a briefing by military brass on plans to expand the pace and scope of the bombing campaign against targets in Iraq and Syria. That could be accomplished by providing more aerial spy planes and other assets from the military and intelligence communities, said Scott Murray, a retired Air Force colonel who helped direct the effort to target ISIL fighters and their infrastructure.