Some claims in Thursday's GOP debate and how they compare with the facts:

Shrunken military

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz: Obama has "dramatically degraded our military."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio: "You cannot destroy [ISIL] with a military that's being diminished."

The facts: The charge that President Obama has starved the Pentagon has become a refrain in the GOP campaign, but amounts spent on weapons modernization are about the same as they were when Republican George W. Bush was president.

Any military cuts GOP contenders are complaining about were approved by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The military budget is being squeezed by the insistence of lawmakers in both parties that money be spent on bases and equipment that the Pentagon says it doesn't need.

Aid to the Kurds

Cruz: "[Obama's] not arming the Kurds."

The facts: He is. The U.S. has allocated a substantial amount of weapons and other military equipment to help the Kurds fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group, and is sending the aid.

The shipments have not been direct. Rather, under a deal with the Iraqi government, all U.S. weapons are delivered to Iraqi officials. They divide them between Iraqi and Kurdish forces. The Kurds have complained that the assistance is not enough.

Lost income

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: "For the 45-year-old construction worker out there, who is having a hard time making things meet, he's lost $4,000 in the last seven years in his income because of this administration."

The facts: There may be some in hard hats who've lost income, but on the whole, construction workers are faring much better than they did when Obama first took office.

The latest federal jobs report showed that their average weekly earnings have risen 2.7 percent annually since 2009 — much faster than the national average for nonmanagement employees. Their weekly earnings jumped to $1,021 in December, compared with a weekly income of $858 in 2009.

Carpet bombing

Cruz: Defending his threat to "carpet bomb" ISIL fighters, he said, "It's what we did in the first Persian Gulf War."

The facts: The U.S. conducted an intensive air war against the Saddam Hussein government in the 1991 war. But to call it "carpet bombing" misses one of the most important characteristics of that air campaign: It marked the first large-scale use of precision-guided missiles and bombs in the history of warfare.

Associated Press