Bush, looking to show he is capable of being commander in chief in the face of multiple threats abroad, will lay out a national security strategy in a speech that he retooled in order to take account of the Paris attacks that killed 129 people last Friday.
“This brutal savagery is a reminder of what is at stake in this election. We are choosing the leader of the free world,” he will say, according to excerpts released early on Wednesday.
Bush will vow to restore $1 trillion in cuts to the U.S. military that President Barack Obama agreed to as part of a budget-cutting deal with Congress, which in the excerpts Bush labels “completely arbitrary.” He also would add 40,000 personnel to the U.S. Army and 4,000 to the U.S. Marines, and would bolster U.S. relations with key allies from NATO nations to the Middle East and Asia.
To counter Islamic State militants specifically, Bush would embed U.S. special operations forces with Iraqi forces to help identify enemy targets. He would build an anti-militant international coalition and include regional partners. He is not calling for a massive reintroduction of U.S. troops to Iraq.
Republican Jeb Bush will pledge on Wednesday that if elected president next year he will keep open the disputed U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as long as the fight against Islamic militants lasts.