Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump emphasized the need for a stronger, more robust military while outlining his 10-point national security plan to a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia Wednesday.
While Trump covered every aspect of U.S. national security, from plans to defeat ISIS to cyber-warfare, he focused heavily on defense spending and sequestration. He noted that defense spending is tumbling to pre- World War II levels, and that it will continue to fall unless he is elected.
“In 2010, the U.S. spent $554 billion on non-war base defense spending. In the current year, we are spending $548 billion – a cut of 10% in real inflation-adjusted dollars,” said Trump. “This reduction was done through what is known as the sequester, or automatic defense budget cuts. Under the budget agreement, defense took half of the cuts — even though it makes up only one-sixth of the budget.”
“As soon as I take office, I will ask Congress to fully eliminate the defense sequester and will submit a new budget to rebuild our military.”
Trump cited several statistics regarding the military’s current lack of readiness, noting that “President Obama and Hillary Clinton have also overseen deep cuts in our military, which only invite more aggression from our adversaries.”
The Navy has gone from 285 ships to 276 since Obama took office, Trump claimed. Meanwhile, the Army is shrinking from 553,000 personnel to 479,000 under the current administration, while the Air Force is at its smallest since its inception in 1947.
To alleviate the nation’s military problems, Trump said he will rebuild the military at every level. His ten-point plan includes maintaining an active Army force of 540,000 personnel, as the Army chief of staff has requested. A future Trump administration will also increase the size of the Marine Corps, from 23 to 36 battalions. Trump said he will drastically increase the number of Navy surface ships and submarines to 350. He also plans to give the Air Force a modest boost, from 1,113 to 1,200 aircraft, and develop “a state of the art missile defense system.”
Trump said he plans to ask Congress to offset the costs of increased military spending. In addition, his administration will make the government “leaner” by reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy, ceasing the funding of programs not required by law, trimming the military bureaucracy and making “common sense reforms” on certain “budget gimmicks” which drive up defense costs.
“We will make America strong again, we will make America safe again and we will make America great again,” said Trump, as he ended his speech.
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