Experts Mock Donald Trump For Mystery Military Plan That Has No Direction But Still Costs Billions
Donald Trump’s Military ‘Plan’ Is Incomprehensible
Donald Trump wants more money for the military – lots more money – but he has no idea what he’s going to do with that military, or how he’s going to pay for the massive spending increases to do the mysterious things he wants to do with the military, or even why he wants more military personnel for his magical military.
And experts are now mocking him for it.
Republican presidential nominee and former reality star, who received multiple medical deferments in his youth in order to avoid the draft, has put forth a military buildup plan that would cost billions of dollars. But, like all of Trump’s plans, there is absolutely no strategy behind it. No details. Just a call for a massive spending increase with no word on why or what it would be spent on.
William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, dismissed Trump’s plan as a form of magical thinking.
“I haven’t seen any kind of strategy. He (Trump) says nobody is going to challenge us because we will be so strong. But that’s not a strategy. It’s just a kind of wish-fulfillment.”
Trump’s Military Plan: More, More, More
Trump’s proposal – if you can even call it that – was unveiled on Wednesday.
- Asking military generals to present a plan within 30 days to defeat and destroy ISIS, immediately after taking office
- Asking Congress to eliminate the defense sequester
- Building an active Army of about 540,000
- Building a Marine Corps based on 36 battalions
- Building a Navy nearing 350 surface ships and submarines
- Building an Air Force of at least 1,200 fighter aircraft
- A new “state-of-the-art” missile defense system
Honestly, it’s like Donald Trump asked a group of third-graders for their input on his defense strategy.
Furthermore, Trump offered no word on how he plans to pay for the massive increase in military personnel, additional equipment, or even how or for what purpose he would use the increased manpower and hardware. He just calls for more, more, more, with no cost estimates, and revenue-raising efforts that budget experts dismiss as insufficient.
“He just called for higher defense spending without giving us a number and without telling us how he is going to pay for it,” said Lawrence Korb, a former Reagan administration Pentagon official and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
And Then Some More, Again
Trump promised to expand the Army to 540,000 active-duty troops from its current 480,000, while increasing the United States Marine Corps from 23 to 36 battalions – which equates to as many as 10,000 more Marines. He would boost the Navy from 276 to 350 ships and submarines. Trump also pledged to raise Air Force tactical aircraft from 1,100 to 1,200.
Then again, considering Trump’s frightening nuke-happy foreign policy, perhaps it would be smart to increase our military exponentially if he gets elected. We will probably need it in preparation for World War III.
Trump also pledged to increase the development of missile defenses and cyber capabilities, conveniently ignoring the fact that the U.S. is currently in the middle of a nuclear modernization effort that is costing an estimated $1 trillion over the next 30 years.
And to pay for this, the GOP nominee proposed asking Congress to lift a Pentagon budget cap and “fully offset” the massive costs by somehow magically collecting unpaid taxes and other insufficient means, such as cracking down on welfare fraud.
He may as well have proposed that members of Congress sell cookies door-to-door. His methods of increasing revenue are that silly.
Furthermore, not only is Trump’s plan to collect pennies for a plan costing billions insufficient and mock-worthy, he’s underestimating the massive cost.
Tom Donnelly, a conservative defense scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, praised Donald Trump’s extreme military buildup proposals. But even he admitted that Trump’s plan is flawed.
“However, Trump undercut the power of his proposals by soft-pedaling the cost of such a buildup,” he stated.
A Look At The ACTUAL Costs Of Trump’s Military ‘Plan’
Independent cost estimates for Trump’s plan range from $150 billion in additional spending over 10 years, according to the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, to as much as $900 billion over the same period, as assessed by Todd Harrison, a defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
Harrison said that increase could be achieved only by raising the federal budget deficit, raising taxes, or cutting other spending, such as benefits programs for seniors and the poor. “None of those things are politically popular,” he said.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated that lifting the cap would cost $450 billion over 10 years. The revenue-generating steps proposed by Trump would leave $150 billion of that amount uncovered, it said.
Trump’s Entire Campaign Is A ‘Soundbite’
The Pentagon’s top financial officer during the George W Bush administration roundly criticized and dismissed Trump’s pathetic proposals. “The whole thing is unrealistic,” said Dov Zakheim. He estimates that Trump’s plan would boost defense spending by roughly $300 billion over five years. “It’s a soundbite.”
And that’s what much of Trump’s campaign has been built upon. Soundbites, with nothing solid or reasonable or logical to prop them up. Trump is completely out of his depth, and every day, it becomes more apparent. His plans and policy proposals are neither plans or policy proposals – they are the immature blustering of a child who desperately wants to appear smart and tough.
And he’s failing, miserably.
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