As I write this the votes are mostly in and counted and the citizens of our great country have spoken and been heard. Even if you went to bed by midnight you probably knew this election was not going to turnout the way that the obviously outdated pollsters predicted. In fact it was much much more interesting than people only watching the presidential race know. While Trump and Clinton were sealing headlines, behind the scenes and away from the viscous mud slinging the Republicans quietly pulled off a game changing hat trick.
Late in the night the Republican party takes Wisconsin and gains 10 more electorates pushing them to 276, six more electorates than the 270 needed to win. Despite all the mainstream media and Hollywood dreams, Donald J. Trump WILL be the 45th President of the United States.
The Republican party took a commanding lead early in the House of Representatives with a 236 to 191 lead over the Democratic Party, with only 218 seats needed for the majority. Using a Trump phrase here, “this is HUGE” since, as I discussed in my article Electing the Commander in Chief, the money will not flow if a House majority blocks all spending requests in the Executive Branch’s proposed budget.
The Senate is made up of two congressional members from each state for a total of 100 sitting Senators. Before Trump sealed his win with Wisconsin the Republican Senators already held a majority with 51 seats filled to the Democrat’s 47, leaving 2 seats unfilled while I write this. This is even more “HUGE” since the Senate is where the rubber meats the road on just about everything important that goes on in Washington.
The Senate has the final word on appointing almost all officials including federal judges, cabinet Secretaries, executive officials, ambassadors, regulatory officials, and military officers. Senate consent is also required for treaty ratification. To top all this off they serve for six years making them the longest sitting elected officials in Washington. (Supreme Court Justices are not elected).
Without a congressional party majority the president can end up spinning wheels while bucking against a stubborn congress. Trump will not have that problem at least not for the first two years of his presidency. Trump should be able to get a lot of his policy agenda implimented. What does this mean for the military? The following Trump policies will affect the military and are highly likely to be enacted due to this game changing Republican hat trick:
- “Rebuild military, enhance and improve intel and cyber capabilities” this likely means more military jobs in Intelligence/UAV and Cyber security (now include offensive cyber departments as well as defensive network security jobs)
- “Work with Arab allies against ISIS” this will probably include maintaining our current footprint in the Middle East for special forces and regular forces attached to the joint and coalition task forces.
- “End the current strategy of nation building and regime change” Good news for our our special forces since no new covert attempts to oust foreign dictators will pop up if he follows through.
- “Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS” This statement may lead to us working with Russia instead of against them since our enemies enemy is our friend and Russia is the only major nation along with the Turkish and Syrian armies that are fighting ISIS in Syria. I worked with Russia under Bill Clinton in Kosovo so this is nothing new or crazy.
- “Work with Congress to repeal the defense sequester…” He should get this done with Republican majority congress. This means freeing up the public money needed to accomplish the rest of his plan, which is.
- “Increase the size of the Army to 540,000 active duty…” With a current level of ~490,000 this means about 50,000 new soldiers. Many of these new jobs could include the aforementioned highly technical jobs of UAV, intel, cyber warfare, and cyber security jobs. Good for soldiers!
- “Rebuild the Navy to a goal of 350 ships…” Why 350? Because the Bi-partisan Defense Panel says that’s about the right number and with the current level of battle force ships at 272 that is an addition of 78 ships. Ships are “HUGE” so that should be many new jobs for ship builders.
- “Provide the Air Force with the 1200 fighter aircraft they need” They will need more pilots and support personnel. I am pretty sure some of these new fighter aircraft will be remotely piloted so good news for the UAV industry.
- “Grow the Marine Corp to 36 battalions…” From what I could find there are 32 battalions currently so an increase of 4 battalions or about 15,000 new Marines.
- “Invest in a serious missile defense system…” Not sure what a non-serious missile looks like but this sounds like more work for the civilian sector.
- “Emphasize cyber warfare…defense and offense” I already talked about the impact of this on the Army and I am sure there will be a small impact on the other forces. Here I think he is talking more about the civilian side of our government so more work for defense contractors which recruit heavily from the military ranks. Good for veterans.
- “Audit the pentagon…” Good luck with that!
- “Ensure our veterans get the care they need wherever and whenever…” In point 10 of his “10 Point Plan” (linked above in title), Trump talks about veterans being able to use the VA or private healthcare of their choice so they don’t have to wait or drive long distances for medical services. This is good for the veteran, the VA, and the civilian medical sector. I think the VA Hospitals will function much better and have happier employees with a lower patient load. The VA will be competing with the private sector and competition is good for everyone even the US Government.
- “Support the whole veteran…” Meaning taking care of more than just physical wounds and providing better transition experiences as well as better care for female soldiers.
- “Make the VA great again…” Here Trump talks about firing incompetent and/or corrupt VA executives. Maybe this could lead to more jobs for some former military service members since they are well positioned to understand the plight of the military veteran.
With that said, good luck to all you veteran and active duty service members out there. The next four years should be quite interesting for us. Lets hope that the Republicans can really turn this country around and “Make it great again” as Trump has claimed they will.
-W. Buglehall, November 9th, 2016