McCain Proposes Plan To Completely Reverse Obama’s Defense Sequester

news
U.S. Senators John McCain, Arizona; Saxy Chambliss, Georgia; and Lindsey Graham, South Carolina; tour the Kirkuk Police Academy in northeastern Iraq as part of a congressional delegation. The senators visited military leaders in the region as part of a fact-finding mission, Nov. 23, 2007.
DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Margaret Nelson

Sen. John McCain’s relationship with the president-elect got off to a rocky start, but now the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman seems to be warming up to the idea of a Trump presidency. Or, at least, he sees an opportunity to capitalize on it. On Jan. 16, McCain called for a $430 billion boost to the defense budget over the next five years that would, in theory, reverse the defense sequester put into effect by the Obama administration.


In a 33-page white paper, “Restoring American Power,” McCain argues that the U.S. military has atrophied over the past eight years, and that it is no longer capable of effectively combating terrorism or deterring — and, if necessary, waging war against — our nation’s more conventional adversaries, like Russia, North Korea, and China.

“Reversing this budget-driven damage to our military must be a top priority for national leaders,” McCain said. “President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to ‘fully eliminate the defense sequester’ and ‘submit a new budget to rebuild our military.’ This cannot happen soon enough. The damage that has been done to our military over the past eight years will not be reversed in one year.”

The $430 billion, which would be spent in $85 billion annual increments, would be dispersed across the armed forces.

If McCain’s plan was implemented, the size of the Army would increase to over 500,000 active-duty soldiers by 2022, while the Marine Corps would grow at a pace of 3,000 additional Marines per year over the next five years. The plan also calls for 81 ships to be added to the Navy fleet, and proposes purchasing 73 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for the Air Force. (These are just a few of the highlights of the proposed plan. It can be read in full here.)  

“Let’s be clear: the United States military is still the greatest fighting force in the world,” McCain wrote in an August 2016 op-ed for Task & Purpose. “But these arbitrary, across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration are crippling force modernization, undercutting training and putting the lives of American service members at greater risk. This is all happening as the threats around the world — and to the homeland — are growing.”

Related: The shrinking military budget is killing our readiness >>

However, as Defense News notes, McCain and Trump don’t see completely eye-to-eye when it comes to the role America’s military should play in the world. Although Trump has vowed to defeat terrorism, he’s long been critical of boots-on-the-ground intervention abroad (i.e., the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). McCain, on the other hand, remains firmly committed to combating terrorism and deterring our nation’s enemies through the conventional strategies the American military has relied upon since the end of the Second World War.

“When reconsidering global force posture, one option should clearly be off the table: a large-scale reduction in forward-stationed or forward-deployed forces that the United States relies upon around the world,” McCain said. “We have run this experiment over the past eight years: The United States withdrew forces in Europe and the Middle East, and the resulting vacuum was filled with chaos, the malign influence of our adversaries, and threats to our nation.”

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Vaughan Dill/Released)

The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.

Read More Show Less

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."

"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."

"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.

"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.

Read More Show Less

The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.

We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.

Read More Show Less
Pearl Harbor survivor Lauren Bruner attends the dual interment of fellow USS Arizona survivors John D. Anderson, boatswain's mate 2nd class, and Clarendon R. Hetrick, seaman 1st class, at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as part of the 75th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. (U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Somers Steelman)

Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.

The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.

Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.

It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.

More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.

Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.

Read More Show Less