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McCain Proposes Plan To Completely Reverse Obama’s Defense Sequester
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.”
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) January 16, 2017
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.”
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.”
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
What it was like to liberate the Nazi death camp of Dachau, according to an Army veteran who was there
At age 23 in the spring of 1945, Guy Prestia was in the Army fighting his way across southern Germany when his unit walked into hell on earth — the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
"It was terrible. I never saw anything like those camps," said Prestia, 97, who still lives in his hometown of Ellwood City.
Against a blistering 56 mph wind, an F/A-18F Super Hornet laden with fuel roared off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and into the brilliant January sky.
Chalk up another step forward for America's newest and most expensive warship.
The Ford has been at sea since Jan. 16, accompanied by Navy test pilots flying a variety of aircraft. They're taking off and landing on the ship's 5 acre flight deck, taking notes and gathering data that will prove valuable for generations of pilots to come.
The Navy calls it aircraft compatibility testing, and the process marks an important new chapter for a first-in-class ship that has seen its share of challenges.
"We're establishing the launch and recovery capabilities for the history of this class, which is pretty amazing," said Capt. J.J. "Yank" Cummings, the Ford's commanding officer. "The crew is extremely proud, and they recognize the historic context of this."
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.