President Obama’s proposed 2017 budget has prompted Congress to act to defend our nation’s military readiness. The commander-in-chief is poised to slash the military by $3 billion, according to the text.
Congressmen Steve Russell (R-OK) and Chris Gibson (R-NY) have a solution to reverse the damage: The Protecting Our Security Through Utilizing Right-Sized End-Strength Act of 2016.
The POSTURE Act would prevent the Army’s troop level from falling below one million, while buffing up the Marines to over 184,000 troops. It was also cosponsored by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress.
Russell explained why he and his colleagues consider this bill a national security necessity:
“We never seem to learn our lesson. Dedicated warriors whose units have been cut to dangerous levels have to stay alive long enough for our nation to react to threats. What the President is asking of the Army is to draw down to such a degree that it won’t be able to able to defend the country. Under the President’s proposal, the active duty land force could be as low as 450,000, the lowest it has been since 1940. Without sufficient numbers to support our military, we would be forced to decide which allies we would abandon, or worse, which part of our nation we would be unable to defend. What message would that send to our allies, let alone our enemies, as well as the men and women who serve our nation and expect us to back them up when we ask them to serve? It is a constitutional imperative that we keep the readiness of our Armed Forces at the highest levels possible to ensure the safety of our troops, our nation, and our global interests.”
Several of the GOP presidential candidates have also pledged to reverse the attempts to shrink the military should they win the White House. A deflated defense, they argue, will not be enough to defeat ISIS.
“Today, we are on pace to have the smallest Army since the end of World War II, the smallest Navy in 100 years, the smallest Air Force in our history,” he said. “You cannot destroy ISIS with a military that’s being diminished.”
Do these 2016 contenders not have a point? Can't the president find some bloated government programs on which to save money - particularly in an environment when citizens are worried about the threat of terror?