While military policy wasn’t heavily focused on in President Trump’s first address to Congress, an early and quick emphasis was placed on the recently announced plan to increase military spending by 9%, in particular emphasizing that this meant the formal end of sequestration, which led to loud applause.
Military sequestration was meant to cap the rate of military spending increases into the future, and initially went into effect in 2013, leading to predictions of doom from top military leaders virtually from the moment it was announced.
In practice, the sequestration never really happened, with every annual military budget finding some way or another to circumvent it. Despite this, hawks regularly referred to the sequestration as though it was happening, and lamented insufficiently huge military budgets.
It was in this way that the myth of sequestration remained enough of a bogeyman that Trump could get big applause for killing it once and for all, and the fact that it doesn’t require him to do anything different makes it that much easier.
In the speech, Trump offered no new details on how the increased budget would be spent, though there were a lot of previous comments suggesting a focus on more ships, planes, and troops.