In his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump is expected to ask Congress for more money for defense spending to rebuild the military and to tout success over the Islamic State group.
The president also is expected to talk forcefully about the challenge of Iran and the North Korean nuclear threat facing the United States. Also, the speech is now expected to touch on a new strategy in Afghanistan and once again criticize Pakistan for not doing enough to eliminate terror sanctuaries.
"If he lays out the threats, the idea that we need to rebuild our military will be quite obvious to the audience," said Peter Brookes, senior fellow of national security affairs at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank. "The State of the Union provides an important platform for the president to talk about the rebuilding of the military which needs some significant shot in the arm due to the wear and tear from years of conflict."
According to the administration's new National Defense Strategy revealed this month, the Pentagon singles out China and Russia as the "central challenge" faced by the U.S. armed forces. That said, some analysts believe it's unlikely the president will use the State of the Union address to call out Russia as one of the nation's top military threats.
"It would be out of character for Trump himself to say that Russia constitutes one of our primary national security problems," said David Ochmanek, senior international and defense researcher at the Rand Corp. think tank in Arlington, Virginia.
On North Korea, though, experts believe the president will use the State of the Union address to talk bluntly on the national security threat from the isolated regime's nuclear and missile advancements.