March 2, 2017
The expansion proposals are in, just a couple weeks after Trump’s statements regarding military growth. In mid-February, Trump told reporters, “Our country will never have had a military like the military we’re about to build and rebuild. It won’t be depleted for long.” This has brought a rising amount of focus from the armed forces as many immediately began drafting expansion plans for submission.
The Army is proposing an expansion of 30,000 recruits by October—while reports say the Air Force wishes to grow by the same amount, but want to do so gradually within the next 5-6 years. The Navy is seeking to increase its overall presence by 30 percent, equaling roughly 82 new ships and submarines. In January, Robert Neller, Marine Corps Commandant Gen., spoke of increasing his branch by 3,000 Marines.
As of now, these are only expansion possibilities and no actions have been confirmed. During President Donald Trump’s campaign, he made several notions of rebuild America’s downgraded military, which has suffered numerous budget and personnel cuts the past eight years during the Obama administration.
These ‘budget cuts’ demolished the U.S. military in regards to the workforce, equipment, and their promptness to arm up, according to conversations between top brass and lawmakers early February. This type of decrease in military presence has left the U.S. forces weak and vulnerable and according to Trump, Mattis, and McMaster, that’s about to change!
Before being selected as Pres. Trump’s national security advisor, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster told lawmakers back in April 2016 about his fears of the discerning state the U.S. Army is in, “We are outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries,” he then goes on, “our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation.”
Under the watchful eye of President Barack Obama, the Army took a massive hit, as tens of thousands of soldiers were pink-slipped with justifications of budget decreases, making the Army, the smallest it has been since World War II.
Expanding on the readiness of the military, reports were confirmed by Admiral Moran that more than half of naval aircraft are grounded and cannot fly due to budget constraints. General Stephen Wilson, vice chief of staff of the Air Force, also chimed in to say its branch is the smallest and most ill-equipped with outdated technology and also confirmed that it is the least prepared more so now than it has ever been in history of the branch.
The Marine Corps is not immune to the effects of budget cuts either. General Glenn Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, enlightened lawmakers that as time moves forward and no changes are made, the U.S. Marines will face more difficult challenges in readiness to deflect and control aggression when appropriate, fight and win U.S. battles, and uphold their responsibility to aid in the protection of the Nation, with current budgeting tying their hands.
It is clear there is a growing concern about the condition of the United States Military, how its decreased size is playing a role in our global influence, and what steps will be taken to restore prestigious recognition of the U.S. Armed Forces.
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