Senator Marco Rubio issued a dramatic plan to restore the American military’s dominance on land, air, sea, and even space, as he criticized President Obama for gutting critical defense programs.
“Under President Obama, defense spending has been cut by nearly a trillion dollars over a decade,” he said in a speech today, according to prepared remarks. “Our Navy is now smaller than at any time since World War I, our Army is headed for pre-World War II levels, and our Air Force has the smallest and oldest combat force in its history.
Rubio made his speech while visiting the Granite State Manufacturing in Manchester, New Hampshire today.
He warned that the American military was weakening as the consequence of the “outdated political establishment” in Washington D.C., while countries like China and Russia were ramping up military spending at rapid rates.
“America’s adversaries around the world have taken note of this,” he said. “They are sprinting up behind us, investing heavily in their own forces to close the gap in military strength.”
Rubio promised to launch an immediate effort to restore the U.S. Navy to a minimum of 323 ships by 2024, if elected president, and to add two more aircraft carriers.
For the Air Force, Rubio’s plan includes emphasis on implementing the F-35 fighter and replacing the aging bomber fleet with the new Long Range Strike Bomber.
His plan also includes plans to restore the Marine Corps to 182,000 soldiers and the Army to 490,000 troops.
Rubio also emphasized funding for futuristic warfare in space, insisting that it wasn’t that far off.
“I’m sure many in Washington will roll their eyes when they hear me talk about realms such as cyber space and outer space as the new battlefields of our age. Many still see these as the stuff of science fiction,” he said. “The nature of warfare is always changing, and leaders of the past are almost always blind to the changes.”
Rapid investments in cybersecurity were also of huge importance in the modern battlefield, he explained, and he vowed to fight back from damaging hacks from rouge nations.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he pointed out, would only continue the same military cuts in all branches of the military endorsed by Obama, if she was elected president.
“As president, Hillary Clinton would write the sequel to President Obama’s disastrous foreign policy, sticking to the same theme of weakness and the same plot of retreat,” he said.